Football is a fun game, and I love it. But obviously Football Game the game isn’t like Madden or Tecmo Super Bowl. Instead, it’s like an episode of Friday Night Lights directed by David Lynch, and I’m totally here for it.
I’m the kind of guy who can appreciate a video game called Football Game that doesn’t have any actual football in it. This Football-Game-that-isn’t comes from developer Ratalaika Games and Cloak and Dagger Games.
Instead of tossing a pigskin around, you play as Tommy, a local high school football hero, who may or may not have developed a drinking problem. The game takes place in the town of East Bend, somewhere, way back in 1987. It’s game night for the Purchase County Turbines and you need to help Tommy find his girlfriend in this Lynchian Point-and-Click adventure.
This Review is in Partnership with Pure Play TV, the Official YouTube Partner of The Games Cabin
Football Game Nintendo Switch Review | Pure Play TV
What is Football Game?
If you’ve ever played an old point-and-click game, you’ll be right at home here. You simply move the cursor on the screen to where you want Tommy to go or to something you want him to interact with and press a button. That’s it. You do have a basic inventory system that lets you collect items like rope, beer bottles, cassette tapes, etc. but it’s all very basic stuff. The reason to play this game is the story.
Finding a football player’s girlfriend before the big game may sound like a strange basis for a videogame, but it doesn’t take long to understand that things in Tommy’s story were not quite as they seemed. The David Lynch inspiration is clear and made this short story a journey worth taking.
The problem for many gamers with Football Game will be that the story is remarkably short. Once you know the story and solve the various puzzles, you can play through the game in about a half-hour. Maybe less. My first time through took well over an hour because I didn’t bother looking up guides on the internet, and that felt about right for me. I love a good novel, but Football Game felt like a really good short story that I couldn’t put down.
The artwork and sound are not great
For me, the real negatives here are the artwork and the sound. When you speak to a character, a hand-drawn picture pops up with the dialogue, and most of the time it’s comically bad. Poor Tommy’s mom. She’s clearly going through a rough time, but she looks terrifying.
The artist did Tommy’s mom dirty and we may need a sequel from this poor lady’s perspective. Plus, when I first started playing the game, I thought my Switch speakers were going out, as I didn’t hear a sound. If you buy a soda from the vending machine or throw some beer bottles in the trash, those are represented decently, but the almost complete disregard of music was strange. Some might consider the game’s lack of a late eighties hair metal soundtrack a blessing, but I call it a missed opportunity.
As I said, I didn’t look up any guides, but I did look up some discussion on the game’s ending. I’m obviously not going to spoil anything, but if you’re familiar with the work of David Lynch, then you know what I mean. It’s an ending that is open to some interpretation and definitely thought-provoking.
- The game ran smooth and glitch free
- The game is drenched in a dark and moody atmosphere that somehow managed to stay subtle
- An ending that encourages relaying to see if you can find some clues to back up your own crazy theory.
- The game is very short
- Some bad artwork
- An eighties soundtrack would have been nice
If you liked the old Lucas Arts point and click adventures, then Football Game is an interesting and fun but very short throwback. It’s cheap, at $4.99 and often on sale for a buck or two, so even with the short running time, I think it’s worth your time if you like these kinds of games.