NFL Kicker! is the sort of game you download innocently enough looking to kill a few spare minutes; then, by the time you finally look up, you’ve spent half an hour devoted to kicking digital field goals. That’s far from a bad thing; rather it feels exciting to have a sports game on a mobile platform feel so immediate and gratifying.
The game itself is a series of kicking-related mini-games, including a sort of endless mode that tests how far you can kick field goals, with a limited number of misses allowed, a mode for “coffin corner” style punting, a timed mode and a mode where you try to hit the uprights themselves. The variety is subtle. After all, you’re kicking or punting via finger swipes, but the game changes just enough in each iteration to make the experience fresh.
Even better, the modes themselves have to be unlocked one by one as you accumulate experience in the game. You’ll start with only the training mode accessible, and slowly earn the rest of the game as you play. That might not sit well with you if you’re only interested in the punting game, which you can’t unlock until later on, but I found that it was a gratifying way to raise the stakes of this simple arcade game.
Most importantly, NFL Kicker! is a lot of fun. It only takes a few seconds to figure out how to play, but aspects like judging how the wind affects the flight of the ball add enough depth that the game doesn’t get old or overly simple too quickly. If you’re in a football mood and ready for the Super Bowl, NFL Kicker! will get you even more fired up.