Football season is here and that means the market is going to be flooded with football games, which is fine by me. Is NFL Pro 2013 championship material? Or it is the replacement ref of the National Football League?

NFL Pro 2013 is one of those games that promises everything, yet delivers nothing. I'm not going to beat around the Reggie Bush in this review -- this game sucks. I love football games but when you've got one that requires you purchase everything, even the plays, it's time to forfeit.

Soon as you start the game you get to pick your team. Wait, no you don't. You get to choose the 49ers. Want to play as your favorite team? That's going to cost you $250 game bucks. Don't have enough? You can conveniently buy game bucks from their store. The teams are there, but the real players aren't. So have fun quarterbacking as Payton Gliberschmidt. Let's get past the fact that there's only one team to choose from and there are no real players -- how is the game itself?

Game Modes consisted of Exhibition, Playoffs and Mini-Game. Exhibition pits your Niners against whatever team you choose. Playoffs shows the bracket from last year's season, allowing you to play any team that made it to the playoffs last year. So if you want to play as the Texans, there you go. Start with the coin flip and you're ready to play. The game's tutorial should have taught you everything you need to know. It doesn't teach you how to delete the game from your iPad though, which is something you'll learn how to do pretty quickly.

Offense or defense, you have a wealth of plays to choose from. If you unlocked them of course. That's right, you only have a limited amount of plays available. If you've got some in-game money, you can pay for a play. Yep. I can pay $3 in game money to pick a Pass Long play. But hey, they're free after level 25! It's this kind of ridiculous level-up gaming that I don't want to see in a sports title. Give me my stupid teams and give me my stupid plays. Or charge me $5 and have everything available to me. The in-app purchasing mindset from developers today is really annoying.

NFL Poop 2013

After you've picked your play, then you get to actually control your players. Tap near the quarterback to start the run or pass play. If you're running, he'll hand it off and you take control of your running back. Control him with the virtual stick. There are three buttons as well you can use -- spin, power and accelerate. You can also tilt your device side-to-side if you want to juke. Which is idiotic because I don't want to tilt my device while I'm trying to control my player with the joystick. Just give me a button for it.

During a pass play, the game goes into first-person mode, something that is irritating in any football, nay, any sports game. When your receivers are open, you tap on their number and your quarterback will throw to them. I have no idea how you're supposed to know when they're open, but just keep tapping. Seems to never work the first time you tap, so I just press away until something happens. Sometimes he catches it. Sometimes he won't. There are penalties in the game, but the game doesn't tell you what the penalty is. Maybe you have to pay for that privilege.

Defense is even worse. Good luck defending against the pass. The computer AI will just bomb it every time and score. With limited defensive plays at your disposal you can't do much. And since you're not even playing a regular season, who cares anyway? By the way, the quarters are only two minutes long. Oh, you want 15 minute quarters like in a regular football game? You gotta buy that option, pal.

What a bargain!

As you collect experience points you can upgrade your team and stadium. You can also learn new plays -- if you have enough money to unlock them. Just more cheap in-app purchase tactics that turn what could be a promising gaming experience into one you'll play for a few minutes before deleting. (I wouldn't be surprised if Gameloft didn't demand you pay to delete the app.)

Graphics aren't too bad. Player animations are all the same. The music is some dreadful rock song that I turned off after two minutes. Play-by-play commentary is basic, with no real color commentary to be found. I could go on and on about the bad things in this game, but I've had enough.

NFL Pro 2013 is another cheap way to offer a free game that you can't play unless you spend a ton of cash on it. And the gameplay sucks anyway, so I don't even know why anyone would bother. Gameloft spent more time focusing on in-app purchasing than they did the game itself. NFL Pro 2013 should be flagged for unsportsmanlike gaming conduct. Don't bother downloading this crap. Wait for the next Madden game instead.


App Store Link: NFL Pro 2013 for iPhone & iPad| By Gameloft | Price: Free | Version: 1.0.1 | 124 MB | Rating 4+

3.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating