Touchdowners Review: Flailing Around

The Good

Colorful visuals

Ideal for switching your brain off to

The Bad

Too frantic

Too repetitive

Not actually that much fun

Touchdowners is the kind of game that you’ll play for about 30 seconds, then delete and never think about ever again. Sounds promising, doesn’t it? Yes, Touchdowners isn’t exactly gripping. It highlights the issue of games that implement ‘crazy physics’. Sometimes, they’re just too crazy to endear you in any way, leaving you a bit frustrated and a bit bored.

The basic idea is a twist on Football. You control a team of three ‘Touchdowners” as they pass, wrestle, and jump their way to the end zone in order to score a touchdown. All the action is located on one screen, with you trying to go from one side to the other in a matter of seconds. Controls are basic. Two directional arrows help them run to the left or right, plus there’s a pass button. The tricky part is that their arms constantly rotate as you move around so you need to line up their arms to grab the ball. All too often, you can run over the ball without making the correct kind of contact to grab it. Bashing into opponents is a great way of grabbing the ball, or intercepting a clumsy pass.

It sounds like it could be quite tactical, but it’s really not. Instead, Touchdowners is a frantic affair in which you’re mostly bumbling around at speed, trying to get the ball down to the right end zone in order to score. Every rare once in a while you might feel smug at making a great pass, but it really is infrequent. All too often a long pass can bounce off a wall and suddenly you’re massively on the defensive, moments away from conceding a touchdown. There are issues too where you can end up pretty much trapped in a corner thanks to your teammates and opponents getting in the way.

Visually, it looks just as frantic, with arms flailing around trying to grab the ball. It’s cute in its way, but you’ll be too busy running to take it in fully. Remember – all the teammates’ arms move at the same time so you have to consider this while manipulating the controls. Ultimately though you’re just tapping buttons like crazy and hoping for the best. Randomness is an all too vital part of Touchdowners. Don’t expect to improve at this game because luck (or lack of it) likes to get in the way.

The game does try to be varied by offering different game modes. There’s a career mode where you work your way up the ranks, tackling different teams before eventually winning a trophy. There’s an arcade mode where conceding one touchdown causes you to lose in a kind of ‘sudden death’ style mode, and then there’s the two player mode. The two player mode could have been a blast, but it’s a little too fiddly on a phone screen. Presumably, it’d work more effectively on an iPad, but you shouldn’t really bother trying on your phone. It gets far too clumsy.

Regardless though, Touchdowners is just too repetitive. There’s no new content to unlock, and 30 seconds with it shows you everything it has to offer. A child might appreciate the frantic nature a little more, but any experienced player is going to soon be frustrated by what’s going on here. Consider it an all too shallow and all too brief distraction.

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