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Friday, February 22, 2013

15 Android Sports Games

9 Innings: Pro Baseball 2013

9 Innings: Pro Baseball 2013 by Com2uS does a fairly deft job at blending together simulation, arcade, and fantasy sports elements into a single coherent free-to-play baseball game. Choose from a set of MLB teams with full 25-man rosters updated to 2012 and mapped out to match their real-world performance and stats. The actual gameplay is a highly configurable experience, with the option to play only offense, defense, half-innings, or full games. An additional fantasy element is introduced with an achievement and trading card mechanic that allows players to unlock special abilities, upgraded versions of players, or players from different teams, allowing you to create a custom, all-star lineup.
Verdict: A good baseball game that's got something in it to please arcade, sim, and fantasy baseball fans alike.

Baseball Superstars 2013

For a more lighthearted fantasy take on baseball, try Gamevil's latest iteration of their anime-inspired Baseball Superstars series, a free-to-play baseball game with a very RPG-like character progression system. Create your own character and take to the field as a pitcher or batter in fictional baseball teams, earning coins and stars to unlock vanity items, stat buffs for your player or team, and more. Off the field, partake in various sidequests, challenges and RPG elements to advance your character.

Verdict: Don't let the cute anime graphics fool you, this game has some surprising depth and progression built around an arcade pitching and batting core. We only wish it had more tutorials so as not to drop you in the deep end almost immediately.

Flick Baseball

Flick Baseball is a nice, arcadey baseball pitching game that puts you in the shoes of a pitcher trying to strike out as many batters as possible. Simple flick controls allow you to aim and spin your pitch, while a stamina bar serves as your life meter (with every ball and hit reducing your stamina). Coins and powerups are strewn across the strikebox, and can be collected by tossing your ball in the appropriate direction. While the blocky graphics and art style aren't anything to write home about, the gameplay itself is pretty amusing. Sadly, the game has the propensity to crash unexpectedly.

Verdict: A fun, light-hearted arcade pitching game with unfortunate stability issues.

Real Racing 2

EA's Real Racing series features some jaw-dropping graphics and smooth controls for a mobile racing game. While we wait with baited breath for the free to play Real Racing 3, have a run with Real Racing 2, the latest iteration of the franchise. With 30 licensed cars, 15 tracks, a solid career mode, quick races, and time trials, Real Racing 2 delivers some pretty awesome racing eye candy.

Awesome graphics and slick controls make for a great mobile racing game.

Reckless Racing 2

For a more arcade racing experience, try top-down driving game Reckless Racing 2, which dials down the redneck attitude in exchange for a deeper and more content filled game. Compete in Career mode to unlock new cars and upgrades, have a blast with Arcade mode's challenges, or indulge in some multiplayer racing fun. An extensive customization system, adaptive difficulty, and local and online multiplayer round out the game.

Verdict: Frenetic, fun and graphically impressive arcade racing.

Riptide GP


Riptide GP is a graphically impressive jet ski racing game from Vector Unit, the same minds behind the hit Hydro Thunder Hurricane game for Xbox Live Arcade. Featuring sleek, futuristic courses, 7 different jet skis to master, as well as Race, Hot Lap, and Championship modes, Riptide gives you loads of adrenaline pumping racing action. Unfortunately, it doesn't sport multiplayer. The hardware requirements mean older devices won't run it, and the tilt-based control scheme might not be to some players' liking.

Verdict: The graphics quality is a joy, as is the racing itself. Too bad there's no multiplayer, or we might score it higher.


Madden NFL 12


Electronic Arts' Madden NFL 12 is a solid if pricy continuation of the Madden NFL franchise. This Android port brings over some slick graphics, as well as controls and gameplay that can satisfy the American Football aficionado and newbie alike. Slow-time and mechanics such as "Total Defensive Control" "Action Control Time," and the ability to draw "hot routes" on screen allow for as much or as little control over plays as you need. Seasoned football junkies can take command of every aspect of the play, while less seasoned players can let the Gameflow system automatically recommend plays so that they can focus on the action.

Verdict: A worthy standard-bearer for the Madden franchise on the Android, with something for skilled and new players alike.


NFL Pro 2013


Gameloft's NFL Pro 2013 is a free-to-play American Football title that aims to bring a deep but accessible NFL title to the Android platform. Much like the Madden series, players choose between various play formations when on the attack and defense, with players than taking command of the execution. Unfortunately, NFL Pro 2013 is saddled with the limitations of free-to-play, with players starting out with an extremely limited playbook. New strategies are unlocked by grinding for in-game currency or paying up-front with real cash. Still, it is free-to-play, and if you're looking for a good American Football games on Android, this one's a pretty good call.

Verdict: A good American Football game even with the limitations of free-to-play.



Electronic Arts' FIFA 12 is a single-player football game that puts players in the shoes of some of the most famous football teams and leagues worldwide. Controls and gameplay are pretty slick, the animations are well rendered and the numerous gameplay modes such as League, Cup, and Kick Off modes are neat, but the game does lack multiplayer (which may have to wait until EA ports over FIFA 13 it seems).

Verdict:A well made slick football game for the Android.


Real Soccer 2013


Gameloft's Real Soccer 2013 is an okay attempt at making a freemium football game. Players take command of a club, build up and manage their roster, and then take to the field against their rivals. Gameplay is a mixed bag, with pretty good graphics quality, but rather disorienting in-game player selection that either sees the computer forcing you to leap willy-nilly from one player to another, or have you fumbling with the manual controls to get to the player you want. In addition, the freemium model is particularly jarring, with players having to grind large amounts of time and effort for paltry rewards, and a club management system that is pretty much designed to part you with your money through microtransactions.

Verdict: You can't fault Gameloft's production values, but you can fault the wonky controls and the grindy economy that really prioritizes microtransactions.

Flick Soccer



A more arcade-like, pick up and play sort of game, Flick Soccer focuses on the good stuff: Kicking the ball at targets. Flick Soccer takes the "flick a ball at a target" genre and gives it loads of spit, polish, and production value to present a surprisingly addictive arcade experience. Quickshot mode challenges you to hit a moving bullseye being defended by the keeper with a time attack countdown, while Endurance mode gives you three balls, taking one away for every missed goal. Challenge mode rewards precision shots, and a surprisingly satisfying Smash It mode where you have to smash panes of glass positioned around the goal mouth.

Verdict: A simple, addictive pastime for under a dollar. Great fun, if not particularly deep.


Football Manager Handheld 2013


On the absolute opposite end of the spectrum is Sega's Football Manager Handheld 2013, a game that eschews action for the strategic savvy needed to take a prestigious club to the top of the rankings. A fantasy sports management game on steroids, Football Manager Handheld 2013 takes the franchise's well honed formula and adds polish to it. Featuring an updated player and team lineup, new playable leagues, and other tweaks, Football Manager Handheld 2013 isn't so much a revolutionary leap as it is an iterative advance, making a great sports management game that much better.

Verdict: Pretty much best of breed for football management simulations. Definitely something for the more strategic and logistically inclined players out there. Look for your adrenaline rush somewhere else.

Virtua Tennis Challenge



Sega's Virtua Tennis Challenge takes the venerable sports franchise mobile, letting players choose from among 50 fictional players in their quest to become the number one tennis player. Players can choose from a custom, gesture-centric control interface, or a more traditional virtual gamepad as they cut loose with lobs, slices, drop shots, and more. The SPT World Tour mode challenges you to advance to the top by competing in new tournaments daily, exhibition matches allow you to just cut loose with a fun game, and you can even challenge your friends to a multiplayer match over Bluetooth.

Verdict: A good mobile port for the Virtua Tennis franchise that provides a good amount of challenge, slick presentation, and multiplayer.





The venerable NBA Jam comes to the Android, bringing its funky, big-headed 2v2 arcade zaniness to basketball lovers. A light-hearted and action-packed port of the 2010 release, NBA Jam delivers familiar arcade thrills while also updating the player lineup to the 2012 season. Play through the Campaign mode to unlock teams, players, and cheats, and then go wild with the more freeform Play Now mode. An additional feature is WiFi multiplayer allowing you to go head to head with your friends for some crazy basketball fun.

Verdict: NBA Jam takes a good arcade sports game formula and pulls it off well on Android.

 NBA 2K13

NBA 2K13 dials up the simulation aspect, with players taking command of a full 5v5 basketball game at the helm of their favorite NBA teams. Quick match mode allows for freeform play, while a more in-depth multiseason mode offers a deeper campaign and team management experience. A fun feature is the "greatest games" mode, which allows players to recreate particularly famous matches complete challenge thresholds to meet. While the soundtrack curated by Jay-Z is solid, the graphics disappoint during the many close-up shots, looking extremely blocky. There is also no multiplayer mode at the moment.

Verdict: While it might not be an incredibly awesome sports game to rival console titles, NBA 2K13 is certainly a pretty good mobile basketball game.

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