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OS Scores Explained Pro Strategy Football 2014 Overview (iPhone)
Pros
Great retro visuals; Deep and complex playcalling; Casual mode.
Cons
Relatively limited feature set; Improved menus arenít perfect; Career mode not included at launch.
Bottom Line
A great strategic football game that will be better with more ways to play.
7
out of 10
Pro Strategy Football 2014 REVIEW

Pro Strategy Football 2014 Review (iPhone)

Though there are a number of arcade titles available in the iOS app store, I tend to gravitate toward the more “thinky” style of game when playing on my phone/iPad. Perhaps it’s the small screen size, the ambiguity of touch controls, or my increasingly slow reflexes.

The same is true of sports games. There are a lot of action-oriented sports titles, but the ones I like most exchange action for strategy: iOOTP Baseball or Blood Bowl, for instance. Pro Strategy Football 2014 falls perfectly into this category, and is one of the best “thinking man’s” football titles available, though it's not without its issues.

GAMEPLAY

PSF 2014 is primarily an in-game football text-sim, meaning (for now) your primary -- and only -- responsibility is to call plays. To that end, PSF 2014 excels at what it does, as the playcalling system is probably one of the deepest in any available sports game. New for 2014 are some options to make this complex system a bit more manageable.

If you played the game at all last year, you’ll recognize the “Hard Core” mode. Hard Core is what PSF used in 2013. You start with any one of a number of formations. From there, you assign a specific play, set individual assignments, designate blitzers or ball carriers, set players in motion, etc. Every play is like painting a picture — you start with the basic structure, fill in the details, and end with a unique design.

For instance, let’s say you need to pick up a long third down. Perhaps you start with the shotgun, 4-WR formation. You decide to line the running back up on the right side and have your weak-side flanker go in motion. You then call for a medium pass, with the intended target your number one receiver, who is running a slant route. You give route instructions to the other receivers, and tell your running back to stay in to block. After all of this is set, you hit “done” and hopefully something good happens.

I wish there was some way to save your best plays, or at least modify a playbook with those you use most often. As it, you'll be "painting" that picture from scratch each time you call a play.

If this sounds too complex or overly-detailed, you can scale things back to the new “casual” mode. Casual mode allows you to call the basic play (medium pass, for instance) and let your coach do the rest. Casual mode is an outstanding addition, which makes the game at once more accessible and more mobile friendly. While I love the detailed approach of hard core mode, I don’t mind Casual’s quicker pace, especially when I’m limited on time. Better yet, you can switch between the two in-game.

Both modes allow a coach to suggest a play entirely, or, provide detailed advice if you’d still like to manage the details.

PRESENTATION

PSF 2014 uses a Tecmo-like graphical engine to simulate plays. It’s certainly functional, if not beautiful in its retro simplicity. It can be occasionally hard to tell where the ball is, but otherwise the graphics do a good job of communicating turnovers, penalties, etc. Weather effects are particularly nice, considering the style PSF is after. Even the sounds are reminiscent of those classic console games.

Another big improvement for 2014 is a reworked playcalling menu system. It’s still not as streamlined as it could be, but it’s a major upgrade from last year. There’s far less “clicking” and digging into menus to perfect that play. Again, if only you could save your favorite plays for quick access later.

MODES

The biggest knock against PSF 2014 is that it still feels somewhat limited. There’s very little roster management, and players — while based on real-life NFL athletes — aren’t editable. You can play a quick exhibition or one season, with again, relatively few options when not in-game.

There is promise of a career mode, with more roster control, but as of this review it’s limited to a quick demo.

Thankfully, you can save mid-game; and asynchronous multiplayer is an option (though I did not find anyone to play against). Both are valuable assets for mobile games.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Pro Strategy Football 2014 is an outstanding, if limited, game. If you view it as primarily a play-calling simulation, it’s outstanding. If you are looking for a full featured NFL text-sim, you’ll be disappointed with its limitations. Should the career mode release in an update and be as good as the play-calling is now, this game instantly becomes a must buy.

Learning Curve: Casual Mode makes things easier; knowledge of football helps

Control Scheme: Menus are much better than last year, but are still a little clunky

Visuals: Great retro look. Except for the aforementioned menus, everything has a very polished feel.

Sound: Good music that’s a bit repetitive supports some classic retro sounds.

Score: 7 (Good)


Member Comments
# 1 TheShizNo1 @ 11/26/14 02:08 PM
This sounds awesome. I'd get it in a heartbeat if there were some sort multi season mode.
 
# 2 ProStrategyFootball @ 11/26/14 06:54 PM
Thanks for the review! Career Play is coming along, slowly but surely. This is a part-time job I do on the side, and this Fall has been incredibly busy. However, I have preseason and postseason almost complete, and I'm working on the draft now.

BTW, I had thought I'd do a "simplified draft" where you just set priorities and let the GM and Scouts handle the actual selections, but after talking with a few guys, I've decided to go ahead and implement a draft. I'll try to have an updated video asap.

As for editing player names, that's on my list of things, too. I'd like to finish the Career Play and then look at the Android conversion again, but also at options for at least editing player names - I may add in-game screens for now, but long term I want to make it possible for users to swap files.
 
# 3 tarek @ 11/26/14 11:21 PM
I played and still play alot of PSF 2013. I haven't yet brought the current one as I'm waiting for the career mode, but I think I'm going to take the plunge and buy it this afternoon. Game is so much fun regardless, and I just know the career mode is going to be amazing too!
 
# 4 volwalker @ 11/28/14 02:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProStrategyFootball
Thanks for the review! Career Play is coming along, slowly but surely. This is a part-time job I do on the side, and this Fall has been incredibly busy. However, I have preseason and postseason almost complete, and I'm working on the draft now.

BTW, I had thought I'd do a "simplified draft" where you just set priorities and let the GM and Scouts handle the actual selections, but after talking with a few guys, I've decided to go ahead and implement a draft. I'll try to have an updated video asap.

As for editing player names, that's on my list of things, too. I'd like to finish the Career Play and then look at the Android conversion again, but also at options for at least editing player names - I may add in-game screens for now, but long term I want to make it possible for users to swap files.
Hopefully in a year or so you can make a college version of this game. I have never played your games, but I am a playbook/design nut which is enough for me to buy this game regardless.
 
# 5 ProStrategyFootball @ 11/28/14 06:41 PM
I would love to create a college game. I'd have to do a lot of redesign to allow for flexible conferences, etc, but I think it would be great. Another hurdle would be team names. I have no idea what I could do there. I couldn't use Vols, for example, but I could use Tennessee (I think). But states have multiple teams, so I'd need to be more creative. And of course, I would *have* to allow users to rename their teams then!
 
# 6 ProStrategyFootball @ 11/30/14 07:01 PM
Quick update, I'm implementing a draft, which is coming along. However, between work and family visiting for a few weeks, I haven't been able to work on this much. I'll have more time next weekend. I have to work on the draft order logic (which I can find online) and then on the computer AI logic for making choices. Once the draft is done, I'm pretty much down to just testing.

I hope the approach I'm taking on the Draft will be useful, at least as a first pass.

The screen:
- tells you the round (1-7, although I could do 1-5 if that's easier for people)
- has categories (Lines, Offensive Players, Defensive Players, Special Teams)
- for each category, you have a few choices, such as Quarterbacks, Halfbacks, Tight Ends, etc.

Here's an example (and I'll put up some screenshots after dinner if I can):
- you select Offensive Players, and then Quarterbacks
- the middle section is scrollable, showing all the players
- at the top of that section is a section "Your Current Roster" and it shows your current quarterbacks
- the next section below that is the "Available QBs" which lists all the quarterbacks not yet taken
- the bottom section is "Drafted QBs" which displays the QBs which have been taken so far

Since QBs have so many numbers, I show the column headings at the top, and you can toggle between two sets of numbers.

Thanks for your patience, and I hope this'll be worth the wait! I look forward to feedback once the Career Play is out.
 
# 7 TecmoZack @ 12/13/14 11:10 AM
Downloading this now. Excited to play


Sports Gaming Maniac. Follow me on the interweb TecmZack - @VanMetra16
 
# 8 ProStrategyFootball @ 01/15/15 12:51 AM
PSF Career has been submitted to the App Store! Has player aging, draft, team history, player history, roster history, season leaders (for any season, current or past), career leaders, and more!

I've been working every spare moment for what now seems like months (oh, wait, it HAS been months) on Career Mode. I grossly underestimated the effort, LOL! Thankfully, I've had a few career junkies testing constantly for pretty much the whole way, and they tell me I've nailed this!

I'll add another post to discuss the features, selling, etc, but first, here are some screenshots of the game (which I really, really hope will be approved within a week!!)

More screenshots are over at http://www.prostrategyfootball.com/p...r-screenshots/.

Here are a few to whet your appetite

Past and Current Seasons, with Leaders




Passing Leaders (sort by any column, and can sort up or down)




All Teams' Records, can sort on any column




View Any Team's history




View a Team's Roster History




View Any Player's History




Players age - younger players can go up or down, while older players start really feeling the aches and pains




Drafting a QB




Shuffling my QB's
 
# 9 sadams33 @ 01/15/15 06:33 AM
this is awesome man thanks for all your hard work
 
# 10 temaat89 @ 01/15/15 12:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProStrategyFootball
I would love to create a college game. I'd have to do a lot of redesign to allow for flexible conferences, etc, but I think it would be great. Another hurdle would be team names. I have no idea what I could do there. I couldn't use Vols, for example, but I could use Tennessee (I think). But states have multiple teams, so I'd need to be more creative. And of course, I would *have* to allow users to rename their teams then!
Don't forget recruiting would probably need to be added (although you could always start with just single seasons and build in multiple seasons later on as you did with PSF 2013 to PSF 2014) Also the size of the game would probably be much larger just based on the amount of teams that would be included. A college game sounds awesome!

I enjoy PSF 2014 and I can't wait to try out the Career Mode!
 
# 11 ProStrategyFootball @ 01/16/15 07:51 PM
First in a series of short videos on PSF Career - this one introduces the features on the Main Screen.
Career Main Screen

Short video introducing your options in coaching and managing each season of your PSF Career!
Coaching and Managing Options Each Season

Introducing Player Management in PSF Career, with players aging, the Draft, and Roster Management!
Player Management
 
# 12 Bull_Dozer @ 01/19/15 07:16 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProStrategyFootball
First in a series of short videos on PSF Career - this one introduces the features on the Main Screen.
Career Main Screen

Short video introducing your options in coaching and managing each season of your PSF Career!
Coaching and Managing Options Each Season

Introducing Player Management in PSF Career, with players aging, the Draft, and Roster Management!
Player Management
That's awesome. The game is gonna be so much better with those features.
 
# 13 temaat89 @ 01/19/15 12:12 PM
I could be wrong but I believe I saw something about roster name editing being added in at one point. Is that still in the works?
 
# 14 ProStrategyFootball @ 01/19/15 09:46 PM
temaat89, I do still plan on that, you bet! I have to work on the Android version, too, but want to get in the ability to edit names, for sure!
 
# 15 ProStrategyFootball @ 01/22/15 08:09 PM
 
# 16 Tunnelrunner @ 01/23/15 06:50 PM
Just download PSF CAREER and played my first game. This is simply awesome so far. And if it ever gets official rosters and/or the ability to edit names, jersey numbers, ratings, it'll be the best football game ever released on mobile.
 
# 17 ProStrategyFootball @ 01/23/15 07:31 PM
Thank you for the encouragement! Editing player names is #1 on my list of features (with Android, too)! I will be submitting a patch this weekend because a few bugs did creep past (I hate bugs, and I'm sorry that slipped by). I've fixed them, but will want to test more tomorrow after I'm rested to make sure. I hope you enjoy the game, and thanks again!
 
# 18 Bull_Dozer @ 01/23/15 09:22 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProStrategyFootball
Thank you for the encouragement! Editing player names is #1 on my list of features (with Android, too)! I will be submitting a patch this weekend because a few bugs did creep past (I hate bugs, and I'm sorry that slipped by). I've fixed them, but will want to test more tomorrow after I'm rested to make sure. I hope you enjoy the game, and thanks again!
Damn that's right it's only on IoS. My Ipad blew up and now all I have is an Android phone. Any estimate on how long it will be before an Android version comes out?
 
# 19 ProStrategyFootball @ 01/24/15 01:31 PM
not yet, Bull_Dozer, but as soon as I finish this patch, I have to move to the new version of Xcode, and I'm going to start looking at the Android again. I'm missing such a big market by not being there. I'll let you know, thanks.
 
# 20 Ufsports2 @ 03/08/15 09:44 AM
Ok so I'm already on my third season in career mode. The first season I won the super bowl as the fifth seeded Panthers, and then the next year I won it again as the second seed with a 14-1-1 record. However, this season I am struggling a lot. I'm going 3-3 with my losses by a combined six points.
 

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