I had my doubts about Madden’s appearance on the iPhone but I shouldn’t have worried. The usual slick EA presentation is transferred to the iPhone as well as some nice, clear graphics. It also moves at a good speed so there is no worries with frame rates, although the flat crowd graphics are pretty nasty.
The game is fully licensed so all 32 NFL teams are present and correct. The current version is single player only but according to the blurb on the iTunes store, multiplayer will be added in a future update. EA finally enhance a game without having to pay for it? I’ll believe it when I see it. You can choose between a single game or a full season. I was surprised at the depth in the season mode – make roster changes, trade players. Far more options than I was expecting.
There are a couple of control issues though. Firstly, the virtual control buttons can be awkward. It’s easy for your left thumb to move away from the virtual thumbstick, so your player stops and is quickly tackled or sacked. There are also a variety of buttons on the right hand side that are close together and can be difficult to find in the heat of a play. One addition that EA have made is a slow motion button which slows time, allowing you to pick out a pass or run and find the correct button. On my first few games I was using this all the time but as I’ve got used to the game I’ve used the option less. Another great addition that takes advantage of the touch screen is hot routes.
Hot routes for any receivers can be made on any of the plays in Madden. Simply draw the run for the receiver. It’s an awesome feature and really add’s to the feeling that you are in control of the play. Speaking of plays, the playbook isn’t as full as the console Madden’s but still has around 300 plays which is more than enough for a handheld game. Add in full commentary and you’ve got a great game that doesn’t feel like a cut down console version. Considering this costs £5.99 and has a multiplayer update in the works I think it’s great value and a strong addition to the iPhone.