Retro Bowl: A Review

Rajath Prabhakar

Retro Bowl, developed by New Star Games, is a football game for mobile devices. In some ways, the gameplay is better than competitors like Madden Mobile. 


Taking the “less is more” approach, Retro Bowl makes the most of its 16-bit graphics. Each team is made up of 10 players, with the salary cap (another feature exclusive to this game, not found in Madden) increasing as the years pass. Players can draft, and acquire players through free agency using Reputation and the salary cap.

Players only have the opportunity to control the offense, which can be frustrating as teams with good defenses have no control over the opponent driving down the field in do-or-die situations at the end of games.  (New Star Games)


You have the opportunity to choose whether to run or pass at the line of scrimmage, while the game auto-selects plays. To pass, simply drag your finger backwards from the QB. The further you pull back, the deeper the pass. The learning curve for this is fairly gentle. On run plays, while there is no juking, sliding your finger up and down the screen allow you to elude defenders but plays will always result in a tackle. Each quarter is 2 or 3 min, with a full 16 game regular season, and playoffs structured just like the NFL. 


The thing that sets this game apart from the competition is that you have to assign consequences to players based on what they do off the field, whether that’s missing team meetings, or even run-ins with the law. It also becomes quite difficult over time. 


For anyone looking for an alternative to the money-making greed of Electronic Arts, this is your game.