For fans of NFL-based games, the iPhone app NFL Quarterback Challenge (99 cents), is the equivalent of a Jay Cutler interception.
As much as I loved the NFL Quarterback Challenge when I was growing up, the event was becoming a bit stale prior to the league cancelling it altogether in 2008. But even as my interest in the event waned, I’ve always thought it would translate very well into video game form. Unfortunately, aside from a couple of appearances in the NFL Quarterback Club series, the idea never took off.
So, as you can imagine I was thrilled to see that earlier this month Pro App Sports had finally given iPhone users a league-licensed game devoted entirely to the challenge. My excitement only lasted a few minutes, though, as like the later versions of the event itself, the iPhone app just isn’t that good.
The basic idea of the NFL Quarterback Challenge iPhone app is to throw football as targets, scoring as many points as possible in a limited amount of time. While later levels of the game have you do this on a football field, early levels are in environments such as airport runways and golf courses (seriously).
That doesn’t really hide the fact that you do the same thing over and over in the game, which would be okay if it was fun to play. But the controls scheme – which requires you to touch an area of the quarterback, pull back and release – is too difficult and just doesn’t work that well.
The game’s graphics aren’t too bad, but they’re very cartoonish and don’t make up for the poor controls. Possibly the biggest disappointment is that all the NFL license gives you is team logos, not real-life quarterbacks.
About the only positive is that the game gives you a chance to win tickets to the Pro Bowl. There’s also the fact that it only costs 99 cents, so you won’t feel like you wasted too much money.
What makes all of this worse is that there’s already an iPhone game that is truer to the actual quarterback challenge and a much better game – iQuarterback. While it suffers from many of the same faults as this game, such as mundane graphics and repetitive game play, at least it has a control scheme that works and is fun.
I hate to be too negative, because I genuinely like the idea and would love to say this game nailed it. But there are no redeemable qualities in NFL Quarterback Challenge and it should be avoided at all costs.