MultiplayerGames’ Indie Cred: Avatar Football


Ever want to play Tecmo Bowl with Avatars? Then someone heard your internal wishes, which when you think about it is creepy. But hey, the game exists.

Avatar Football has a few caveats. First, don’t play on anything less than hard unless you’re new to the sport as a whole. Offense turns up point totals more appropriate to the NBA on anything less. AI isn’t up to the task otherwise. The game is also a little too simple statistically. Players are rated in three categories, and unlike Tecmo Bowl, there is no speed boost for defensive players on long plays. A speed of 4 will always beat a speed of 5 unless there is specific use of a speed boost.

The game offers full season play and customization, plus the ability to share playbooks and rosters right on Xbox Live. Awesome. The downside? If you just want to create one team, you’re out of luck unless you want to play against an entire league of default players. You cannot import a user team into the fantasy roster of not-quite-NFL-but-totally-NFL default teams. You must create an entire league, player by player, division by division. An easy fix would be auto generating the rest of the teams if you’re only interested in one team or individual custom players.

On the field, Avatar Football is robust. Instead of swapping receivers, you can use the face buttons for individual players breaking out into the field. It’s what Tecmo Bowl always needed. You can also call for receivers to get open instead of having them sit there with a defender. That’s a smart improvement on the formula.  On the run, you can juke and speed boost, creating a style of play that is generous on risk/reward. Using these moves increases the chance to fumble, and those turnover odds are high.

If Avatars are out of your style, the game offers a stock model for a basic football player to add to the authenticity of this arcade style of play. The crowd is comprised of thousands, all Avatars, to keep the energy high. It’s a fun one if you can look past its flubs.

Avatar Football is available on the Xbox Live Indie service for 240 MS Points, developed by Bakers Crest Studio.

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