The NFL season is officially underway as this past weekend marked the first week of professional football. Undoubtedly, there are many fans that are also watching their fantasy football rosters looking for a win. However, Zynga thinks that fantasy football should be more interactive.
The mobile gaming company has launched NFL Showdown, which is a football manager simulation game that puts you in the role of Coach, General Manager and Owner. The game allows you to update your roster, choose a starting lineup, sign free agents, train your team, and build game day tactics as you compete against friends in your league.
Perhaps what also separates this game from fantasy football is that it doesn’t completely rely on real-life performance, but rather is a computer-simulated environment where the outcome depends on your team’s skills. Because of this, the game can also be played year round and doesn’t rely on the actual NFL season during the fall and winter months.
However, it does help when the players do well in real life, as this can get you in-game boosts based on the points your team has earned through fantasy football, which helps increase your chance to win games.
The game even features real NFL teams and players, so you can pretend that you’re in on the real-life action and manage your favorite NFL team.
NFL Showdown includes all sorts of different features, like Daily Showdowns, where you can join a 32 team league with other real players and play games against friends and other players every day. There are even playoffs so that you can try and get your team to the Super Bowl.
Seasons go by really fast in the game, with a season taking about a month, meaning that you can get a chance to go to the Super Bowl every four weeks instead of once a year.
The game is a part of Zynga’s Sports 365 franchise, and the company is most likely hoping that a mainstream game like this will boost Zynga to where it once was as a mobile gaming powerhouse.
Zynga is best known for their creation of FarmVille and Words with Friends, games that don’t entirely appeal to a wide range of users. However, the company is looking to tap into the football market and get a more widespread fan base to play their NFL-licensed game.
NFL Showdown is the hard work of Zynga executive Mike Taramykin, who used to work at EA Sports developing popular console sports games like the Madden series, so the dots definitely connect when you see that Zynga has a football game of its own.
Taramykin also says that the reason why sports games like football haven’t taken off on mobile devices is because users aren’t trying. This is mostly because of the thought that mobile games are simply pared-down versions of console games that offer less features and a poor gameplay experience. Of course, developers are trying to change that and Zynga looks to lead the way.
EA Sports has some mobile sports games of its own, including Madden and FIFA, but the popularity of those games don’t even compare to the console versions, simply because consoles offer the all-around experience without anything getting in the way, unlike mobile games, which are hindered by the smaller screen and lack of physical buttons.
In any case, Zynga hopes to make a point that you can create a solid football game for mobile devices.NFL Showdown is a free title that’s available for both iPhone and Android devices, and it’s available right now in the iTunes App Store and Google Play.