NFL Clash Review - Clash Royale Mixed With the NFL
From Nifty Games, NFL Clash is a mobile game available on both Android and Apple devices. Targeted as a head-to-head game, NFL Clash combines the card trading with quick simulation-based games where the action on the field plays out before your very eyes. With its acquisition of both the NFL and NFLPA licenses, Nifty Games bridges the gap between those who like the control of traditional games like EA’s Madden franchise with those who prefer to watch the action play out in a Football Manager sort of simulation.
Much like other mobile games, the success of NFL Clash hinges on its ability to to keep players engaged, offering them variety in both gameplay and off-the-field activities. How well does NFL Clash do this? Well, let’s talk about it in this NFL Clash review.
What I Like – NFL Clash Review
NFL & NFLPA Licenses
Authenticity is everything when it comes to sports gaming. No matter if you’re playing on a console or your phone, gamers want to be able to play with real players from real teams, and NFL Clash scores a touchdown in this department. With official spokespeople like Buffalo’s Josh Allen and Arizona’s Kyler Murray, NFL Clash has two of the most promising young NFL stars on board.
“I’m a big gamer, so being selected as a featured player for NFL Clash is awesome. This game is quick to play, with its head-to-head gameplay and easy to pick up, and makes for some fun and fierce competition.”
-Courtesy of Josh Allen
The launch coinciding with the heart of the NFL schedule certainly helps to capitalize on folks who can’t get enough NFL action. Not only are the players and teams represented, each of the teams has a 3-D render of their authentic stadium, which is fairly visible given the zoomed out camera that captures all of the action. Because of this view the individual physical characteristics aren’t distinguishable between the players, but this isn’t really the game for such a thing. The game is more about strategy and a little luck, as opposed to graphics and intricate gameplay mechanics.
Easy To Learn
If you’re going to make a mobile game based on football, an extremely complicated and nuanced game, then you better scale it down some. Thankfully, Nifty Games accomplishes this through its simple mechanics and excellent tutorial that really helped me get a feel for the game, especially when building my squad.
The objective is simple, to score a touchdown in four plays either choosing to run or pass with sub-options like “deep pass” or “blitz” to cater to our internal coordinator. Instead of 11-on-11, NFL Clash is 7-on-7 with three linemen instead of the usual passing focus that’s normally associated with 7-on-7.
Even though you’re not able to actually control the action on the field by way of being able to move the players, the AI is capable of performing skill moves, which come with better player cards you can obtain either from treasure chests or player upgrades. I’m certainly not in the expert category, but between the tutorial and general football knowledge, you can have fun with this one.
One make or break feature for any mobile game is the amount of time it takes to play one game. If you’re interested in mobile games, you’re most likely not looking for long simulation-type matches. Instead, the game focuses on five-minute matches, which makes it easy to get through the action on the field without all of the stops and starts that normally accompany an NFL game. Mobile games are about catering to short attention spans and Nifty Games nails this.
What I Don’t Like – NFL Clash Review
Just because the NFL is making it harder to play defense doesn’t mean that it should be that way in video games. In NFL Clash, one of the more frustrating issues is how poor your secondary can be at times. Madden has had issues of late regarding zone defenses, but NFL Clash surprisingly gets man defense wrong.
Head-to-head games are usually high scoring with most players favoring the pass over the run game. Playing man coverage against opponents who send their wide receivers in motion is an exploit due to your cornerback not following the man in motion. This ends up creating cushions that allow the offense to eat up huge chunks through the air.
At other times when you have two corners in man coverage, there’s a good chance that one might not be very interested in covering their designated man. Luckily for us, the community managers are actively engaged over at Reddit, and mobile games are a little easier to patch when compared to console or PC-based games.
Lack Of A League Mode
Bots are taking over! Not only are they buying up all of the in-demand sneakers, next-gen consoles, and high-end computer parts, they’ve also managed to infiltrate NFL Clash. With a lack of modes, playing against these bots can make the game frustrating, which is bad for any mobile game where gamers are more likely to delete the app and move on.
Seeing as though the NFL is all about a league mode, it’s strange that there is no league mode where you can work towards the playoffs and ultimately the Super Bowl if you’re so lucky. Since NFL Clash has the official license, there’s really no excuse for the Super Bowl not being included. Perhaps future updates will add more modes to NFL Clash to make it a more diverse game.
Nifty Games has slowly been building a name for itself. They’ve been quietly raising funds and forming partnerships not only with the NFL but also with the NBA, so expect to see a similar style hoops game soon. While NFL Clash takes its cues from Clash Royale, the effort from Nifty Games is a solid one and should be better given the developer’s dedication to improving the game by working with and listening to the community’s feedback.