Retro Bowl Switch

Retro Bowl on Nintendo Switch: Worth the Wait

If you were like me, then Retro Bowl came out of nowhere back in January 2020. It grabbed me with its addictive and simple gameplay, and was almost impossible to stop playing for hours at a time. A game that was initially released on mobile platforms, it stole the hearts and of both current gamers and old-heads like myself, and found critical acclaim from just about anyone who found time to play it. Retro Bowl on Switch is now a thing, so how has the transition to a console gone?

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Retro Bowl Switch: Worth The Wait

For those unfamiliar, Retro Bowl is a football game developed and published by New Star Games. It’s a game that feels very much like a hybrid of Tecmo-Bowl and Joe Montana Football. The game delivers an experience that is simple to learn, and with a dynamic difficulty it does a wonderful job of catering to the masses.

Retro Bowl Switch

Although it doesn’t include the real NFL license, it does provide the exact setup as a real NFL licensed title, only with teams that mimic those that are in the current NFL. For those who love authenticity, have no fears. Retro Bowl does offer the ability to edit the rosters as you see fit and allows you to recreate the current NFL timeline or any previous bygone eras.

The developers have done a solid job of continuing to support the title and adding new and improved features to the game. They are also extremely active within the community, accepting feedback and trying to either implement ideas or explain why certain ideas will simply not work with the infrastructure of the game.

For a time, I thought my enjoyment of Retro Bowl was always going to be relegated to the mobile platforms or web browsers. Thankfully, New Star Games and Nintendo found a really logical fit working together here. I had pushed Retro Bowl to the side as of late with so many other options and not being a massive mobile fan. However, the instant I was playing Retro Bowl on Switch, the initial excitement came pulsing back.

What’s Old Is New Again

Retro Bowl Switch

I tried the port of Retro Bowl undocked at first (handheld mode) with the built-in controls, and It did take a bit to get used to, especially the passing with the famous nub-style analog sticks on the Switch. I was able to grasp the control scheme and get a feel for passing and kicking within a few drives on offense, and it soon enough fit like an old glove.

All the options that I was familiar with were right there in the palm of my hand, but now on a bigger screen and with actual controllers. Some will say my iPhone 13 Pro isn’t that much smaller of a visual experience than on the Switch. In a way that’s true, but for me, the overall experience of playing on Nintendo Switch itself was a far better one then that of mobile.

Even with Retro Bowl undocked, the Nintendo Switch screen did an amazing job of providing all the details and the reactions with zero input lag at all. Graphically the game looked about the same both docked and undocked (which I talk about below), but for the me, Retro Bowl just seems like a better fit for the Switch than on mobile.

Up On The Big Screen

I also played Retro Bowl docked, utilizing the big screen and a Nintendo Switch Pro controller. My one and only concern was that of would there be any type of input lag during a passing or kicking sequence, and of course, there was none.

In fact, seeing Retro Bowl play out on the big screen was almost surreal and a bit much to take in at first. The ability to play Retro Bowl on a bigger screen has been available previously through various casting options and or cable connectivity options. Either way, this was the first time for me, and the game performed flawlessly.

Retro Bowl Switch

If you asked what my preference was after playing Retro Bowl both docked and undocked, I would go with docked on the big screen. The nostalgia of playing Tecmo Bowl started to pour back in once I started playing the game on the big screen, and it was simply a great time watching all the action unfold.

There were details that I picked up on that were more noticeable seeing the action on such a scale, and the passing and kicking became a bit easier as time progressed while playing on the larger screen.

Bottom Line

In the end, both Nintendo and New Star deserve a lot of credit for collaborating and providing what I consider to be a perfect landing spot for this title. It has carried over all the fun, the excitement, and addictiveness from the original on mobile, and in some ways created an even better experience.

If your concern was it’s more of the same, just on a different system, well you would be correct. Nevertheless, the Retro Bowl experience on the Switch is the perfect combination of mobility and fun. Plus, you don’t have to settle for one or the other because the Switch does both.

Rarely does a football game come along that offers the ability to enjoy a franchise, a draft, ability to edit, and package it together in such a fun and approachable way. Retro Bowl does just that and now has made the experience even better on the Nintendo Switch.

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