All Six American Football Games On Switch (Yes, You Read That Right)
This guide was originally published back in February 2022 with the title ‘All Six American Football Games On Switch (Yes, You Read That Right)’. However, in the time since, several more gridiron games have appeared on the system — there’s now a total of 11 by our count — so we’ve rejigged and updated things a little bit to make this a comprehensive list of every American Football game on Switch. Let us know below if we missed any and we’ll be sure to update. Enjoy!
As we write this it’s nearly time for the SUPER BOWL, which we understand has to be shouted with great enthusiasm. As a bit of history, here in NL Towers during Thanksgiving we had a bright idea – “Let’s do a best NFL-style list for Switch, like the proper football / soccer one we did in the Summer!” The Super Bowl (or Superb Owl for you witty types) is one of the world’s biggest sporting occasions and — contrary to popular belief — there do exist a handful of non-Americans who enjoy it. Even though your humble scribe is (foolishly) a Chicago Bears fan, you’ll find me watching the big games in the early hours in Britain while munching pretzels. It’s the dream. At Thanksgiving 2021 we diligently looked at the Switch eShop and the internet to figure out which exciting games to include in this list and settled on… all of them. To say it was slim pickings at the time would be an understatement, but in the time since we’ve had a few additions to the team sheet. So let’s have a look at them in no particular order — the Best Nintendo Switch American Football Games, the Worst Nintendo Switch American Football Games… indeed, ALL the Nintendo Switch American Football Games. Enjoy!
Publisher: FiveAcesPublishing / Developer: New Star Games
Release Date: 10th Feb 2022 (USA) / 10th Feb 2022 (UK/EU)
Retro Bowl, like most games on this list, goes for a stylised approach inspired by Tecmo Bowl; it’s rather addictive. You are General Manager / Head Coach / Quarterback in this game; the ‘sim’ part has you pick players in the draft, trade players, play nice with the owner, renew contracts, appease fans and more besides. The actual gameplay is all about dropping back and playing quarterback, and that’s terrific fun. A cool distraction either in the build-up to a big game or to help you through the long, long off-season.
Publisher: Digital Dreams / Developer: Digital Dreams
Release Date: 30th Oct 2018 (USA) / 30th Oct 2018 (UK/EU)
We didn’t exactly shower this in praise in our review, but the developers did promise many moons ago to add missing content in a free update. Some do enjoy this game too, a spiritual successor to a cult classic on SEGA Mega Drive; it plays like ‘real’ football to an extent, though of course the concept means there are all sorts of extravagant and violent shenanigans taking place as well.
Release Date: 30th Aug 2018 (USA) / 30th Aug 2018 (UK/EU)
SNK produced a broad range of sports games for the Neo Geo, so naturally this is the American Football entry in the series. It has chunky sprites familiar to fans of the company’s output, with some neat touches like over-the-top player celebration animations and a fancy spiralling ball when it’s up in the air. As expected, of course, the Arcade Archives version on Switch has a lot of little goodies and options thanks to HAMSTER’s work.
Publisher: Run Games / Developer: Run Games
Release Date: 17th Jan 2019 (USA)
This is only available on the North American eShop (we can’t find it on the UK store, in any case), with this being a premium iteration after a previous mobile release. It draws some inspiration from Tecmo Bowl but naturally offers more modern visuals, a faster pace and additional depth in terms of play selections. It also throws in some fighting for comedic effect, while a season mode has some RPG-lite twists. All told it’s a game that seems to best suit modest expectations, short bursts and relaxed fun.
Release Date: 30th Jan 2020 (USA) / 30th Jan 2020 (UK/EU)
This is a game that has a place in many hearts, in particular the original NES release that provided (at the time) dizzying depth considering the technology. It’s rather cool, then, that we can experience the more technically impressive version that was found in many arcades in the late ’80s. It’s surprising just how different it looks to the iconic 8-bit version, so if you’re curious about what Tecmo could achieve without battling hardware limitations this eShop version is worth a look.
Release Date: 3rd Feb 2023 (USA) / 8th Feb 2023 (UK/EU)
Coming from the publisher of such software as AAA Clock, AAA Clock Happy Edition, and AAA Clock Ultra Happy Edition (to name just three of the 38 AAA Clock classics available on the Switch eShop), we declined to review this one and therefore can’t speak to its quality… or anything else about the game, in all honesty. It appears to be a race-based party game with football trappings, but at $14.99 we’re not about to investigate to find out how much gridiron this one actually contains. We’d wager ‘not much’, though. What’s that? It spends most of the time on sale at just $1.99, does it? Nah, you’re alright. We’ll watch this one from the sidelines.
Publisher: Tecmo / Developer: Tecmo
Release Date: Feb 1989 (USA) / 17th Sep 2015 (UK/EU)
Yeah, we had to cheat to squeeze some more quality on this list. This is the rather different but fondly remembered NES version of the game. It’s not on the eShop, but it is in the NES app for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers. If that doesn’t make NSO worth signing up to, then we don’t know what to say…
Publisher: HAMSTER / Developer: Irem
Release Date: 2nd May 2018 (USA) / 2nd May 2018 (UK/EU)
10-Yard Fight is as bare-bones as one might expect from the first proper attempt at a proper American Football simulation. It’s got no extras, no fancy audio or music (bar some good digitised speech), and none of the depth one might be used to in modern takes on the game. It is, however, a true piece of video game history and a brave effort by Irem that paved the way for other greats of the genre. If you were around at the time it was first released, you will certainly have as much fun with it today as you did back in 1983. As for the other video football enthusiasts out there, you’re probably better off not making a play for this one.
Publisher: Top Hat Studios / Developer: Super Pixel Games
Release Date: 9th Aug 2023 (USA) / 9th Aug 2023 (UK/EU)
Legend Bowl is a game packed with charm; an interesting hybrid of retro style and attempts at Madden-esque depth in the playbook and mechanics. It’s full of heart and raises a smile with its humour and attention to detail; sadly it doesn’t convert all of these positives across the board. Performance is improved following patches but still has space to get better, while some odd design and UI choices are hard to ignore. If you can look past the flaws, which could be dealt with in future updates, there are some real merits to Legend Bowl for fans of the sport; it just needs to get over the longest yard to reach its full potential.
Publisher: Upside Down Bird
Release Date: 10th Feb 2023 (USA) / 2nd Jun 2023 (UK/EU)
We have to admit that Upside Down Bird’s Axis Football 2023 passed us by. Billed as a “simulation-style” affair, “featuring the industry’s best franchise mode, massive customization, and realistic gameplay,” it certainly…”