Sports video gaming has certainly improved since the early days of computer gaming. For some of you, Pong was revolutionary. For others, like me, you’ll remember spending countless hours programming a simple game on a Commodore 64, only to have it crash. I remember 25 years ago when Madden became a household name in sports gaming. My brother and I played countless hours of EA Sports’ Madden NFL on our Sega Genesis gaming console. Eventually, Madden’s low graphics gave way to high-end gaming systems, and today we have some of the most intense sports games available on desktops, gaming systems, and mobile devices.
Madden is among those elite and timeless games. Madden 25 (free) is another excellent addition to the franchise. The game features excellent graphics and some fantastic gameplay.
There are a number of different gaming experiences, from managing a team through Super Bowl glory, to playing head-to-head with friends.
If you’re playing alone, Madden 25 gives you “Solo Challenges” to test your skills and build your team.
Unfortunately, I’m finding that some of these challenges aren’t so challenging. I’m finding, at least in the early stages, that the computer AI is extremely weak.
Certainly, Jacksonville isn’t a powerhouse football team, but with an overall rating of 65, my San Francisco 49ers shouldn’t have annihilated the Jags this badly. And that score was through 3 quarters.
I’m also finding some gameplay glitches, such as the ball carrier running out of bounds even though you’re “power moving” forward, and random load stalls.
I solved these by clicking home, removing the app from the multitasking menu, and reloading. Fortunately, your game resumes right where you left off.
Incidentally, you’ll also find that 1 second on the game clock is more like 5 seconds, which is very annoying and really drags out the games.
Madden 25 also features one of my top 10 peeves of mobile apps: the in-app “money” system.
You earn “rewards” for completing tasks and games, then use the rewards to purchase players at auction. At least I think that’s how it works. I tried to purchase a mediocre player for auction. With 45 seconds left to bid, I placed my bid, only to discover that “bidding ended.” The whole bidding process must have taken me 3 real-time seconds, but I guess outside of gameplay the real time accelerates. You can also purchase player packs to upgrade your team.
You also acquire “cash” to purchase plays or add player pack cards (similar to real life football cards). Unfortunately, you have to invest even more money, as much as $75 for the bonus bundle.
I think developers do a disservice to their fans using this in-app purchase method. In most games, the only real way to advance and improve your team is to buy in to the bonus packs. I wish developers would just charge me a fee for the app and provide all of the available options. I recognize the profitability of this method for the developer, but it’s the fans who actually lose.
Perhaps the most annoying feature of Madden 25 was some of the bugginess of the app. At times, game plays smoothly, completing passes, running touchdowns, and scoring field goals. During other instances it slowly drags along. This could be a function of my tablet, though I doubt it. I’m playing this game on an ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity tablet with a 1.6 gHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, making it one of the fastest Android gaming tablets available. It think it’s the game.
Madden 25 requires an addition 1.0GB behemoth file. Certainly, this makes the graphics spectacular, but also slows down the overall performance. I’m going to test this on my Nexus 7 tablet, but I’d like to know if you’re having some of the same gaming problems.
Overall, I give this app 3 of 5 stars. If you’re a true Madden fan, you’ll love this and play it. Fence-sitters, you’ll play for a bit, but I’m sure eventually get bored. I hate spending extra money to play a game, but I will pay what I deem the value to be – I purchased the $14.99 add-on. If you want to challenge me, enter my username: droidlawyer.