Your Turn Football has been out for about a week and in that time has become the sole game being played on my phone. The competitive nature of the turn-based gameplay – which has surprisingly produced fairly realistic results on the field and relies on some strategic decisions being made – has proven to be addictive and fun.
In learning Your Turn Football I was immediately reminded of New Star Soccer which is probably my favorite mobile game to date. The gameplay relies more on influence and simple decisions rather than control and that works in the context of mobile platforms. The major difference between the two though is that Your Turn Football is completely multiplayer while New Star Soccer was single player with a rich career mode. Your Turn Football has no single player mode.
Games are broken down into drives. Users play through their offensive drives while the opponent can choose their defensive strategy before each drive in hopes of stopping them. Choosing a defense that is focused on stopping the run will obviously have more success against an offense who has chosen to go run heavy. If they pass a lot on the drive they’ll have a better opportunity to score. That is where the strategy comes in. Mixing up styles of play is key and trying to identify patterns in the opponent (all the plays of a drive can be seen by the defensive side after it is over) is important to take advantage of.
Still the offense will have the opportunity to beat the defense by executing. Play calls are made based on the strategy chosen before the drive. There are no audibles if the offense is getting stuffed running the ball – they’ll continue to do so for that drive if that was the decision made before it. Passing gets much more difficult when the defense is looking for it. Receivers don’t get open and check-downs probably only pick up a few yards.
There are a number of options to choose from for both sides of the ball. The offense can go Conservative (seems to be mostly runs and some short passes), Mostly Run, Balanced, Mostly Pass, Aggressive (deep passes primarily), and Mix It Up. The defense has at its disposal Look Run, Balanced, Look Pass, Blitz Often, Prevent, and Mix It Up.
As far as play-to-play influence the user does have some control over what happens. In a passing play the choice can be made to throw to the primary read or give the QB the choice of going to a secondary one or scrambling. Hitting a receiver in stride will even get them more yards after the catch. When running the ball the back gets one cut that can be used during the play or they’ll run the direction shown on screen. Making a cut at the right time can lead to picking up many more yards on a play. Personally I think the basic nature fits mobile very well and it’s implemented intelligently here but if you’re someone that wants control over every decision and move on the field then Your Turn isn’t going to appeal much to you.
Going beyond gameplay is the ability to upgrade the team’s players, entire units, and customize the teams. As with most mobile games microtransactions come into play. “Coins” are awarded for completing games but “cash” is not. From what I’ve been able to gather the coins are spent on improving the team (though some highly rated players require cash instead) and the cash more so on personalizing it. This early into Your Turn and having completed so few games it’s difficult to analyze how fair of a balance it will be in the long term. I don’t get the sense though that anyone will be hitting a wall where they have to spend money if they don’t want to. I’ve been able to grab some new players and extend contracts fine so far despite only having won 2500 coins in the three completed games (1000 for wins, 500 for loss).
Some have lamented the exclusion of a single player mode. That just doesn’t seem to be the vision of Your Turn Football. It’s meant to be a purely multiplayer experience that feeds off competitive spirit and it works when framed in that manner. If there was an addition to be made which could fit here it might best be some sort of daily challenge or CPU game to earn some extra coins. That would be nice to have instead of relying solely on others to complete their end of things. It’s always disappointing to open an app and find that there’s nothing you can do with it at that moment.
It’s a good idea to get a lot of games going. As mentioned earlier I’ve only had three games so far go final while many others are ongoing. The games can be in progress for a long time with the full quarter lengths and going back and forth as drives only chew a few minutes off the clock. Playing against friends rather than random opponents can alleviate that as it becomes easier to coordinate if there is a desire to play through in a short time frame. I’ve also had a few people forfeit and end games which I’m still wondering what might be the motivation behind.
Interactions with the game though are quick rather than relying on an investment of time. It’s nice to be able to hop in and hop right back out after completing one or more drives. There are plenty of mobile sports games that ask for more than that so ones like Your Turn and New Star are especially refreshing.
For a free game that hopes to hook some in with microtransactions Your Turn Football is one of the best options available in mobile sports gaming. Though it goes without a single-player mode it excels with satisfying turn-based gameplay, realistic outcomes, and strategic elements. There is enough influence in play despite not relying on the user to determine everything that happens. Check it out by downloading for iOS and Android devices through iTunes or Google Play.