EA have just released the latest edition in the Madden NFL series across all platforms. Included in that lineup is the new Android version, featuring brand new features and gameplay never seen on a mobile NFL game before.
Following the freemium business model, Madden 25 is free to download and play with the option to purchase in-game extras later.
At over 1 GB in size, the download can take a while and is not recommended for those using a mobile network. When it is downloaded however, you’re in for a treat.
Locker Room Pep Talk
The main menu acts as the central hub for the game allowing you to chose between several game modes, challenges and competitions. Once you have your play mode selected you can choose from any NFL team. Each team is represented by their official logo and and authentic team uniforms.
Before each game, and during the break between plays, you can choose different tactics and team plays. You can also customise your team and switch around players in line-ups.
Gameplay is smooth and realistic. This is no doubt thanks to that huge download file. I came across no bugs or irritating gameplay features at all.
However, an instantly noticeable feature that’s missing is Quick Match. Unfortunately, as EA have optimized the game for online play against other players, you can only play individual matches online.
Field goals are great fun with wind dynamics and kicking power both accounted for. You must adjust your kicking direction (which will itself have a margin of error based on the player’s skill) and slide your finger on the power meter to kick field goals.
The defensive AI is difficult but not impossible creating a challenging playing environment.
To control movement you use your left thumb on the directional pad which will appear. Individual play actions are performed using your right thumb, depending on what play you have adopted.
Skills and tricks are also accounted for and are executed using directional swipes over the highlighted player. Available tricks are picked up throughout the game thanks to tutorials and unlocked skills as you progress.
The Green, Green Grass
While the gameplay is good and detailed, I found the graphics somewhat bland and unimaginative. Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing terrible to be found in this game. There was clear attention to detail paid to team uniforms and the playing field.
However, there are no special effects, no animations before and after replays and the stadium audience looks lifeless and dull.
The sound effects were also stock sound bites which I found irritating. For example, when players tackle one another they grunt. As several tackles can happen at once you often find the same grunting sound bite used over and over in quick succession.
Madden 25 uses an in-game currency system in order to track player progression. Completing challenges and beating opponents earns you money. This money can then be used to buy player card packs to build the ultimate NFL fantasy team. You can then field this team online against friends. The freemium model here is quite unobtrusive which I liked but eventually there comes a point where purchasing packs is almost a necessity.
Overall, for a free game, Madden 25 rocks. The gameplay is solid and fast paced and the selection of plays and skills is top notch. For football fans this game is a definite must.