Portable football devoid of the NFL license may sound like the sports game that has the least likely chance of success, but Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff may just get by with its barebones, retro-styled gameplay and a heaping help of nostalgia. The game sticks close to the formula established in a handful of Tecmo Bowl games release in the late '80s and early '90s, offering basic side scrolling gameplay for casual fans of the sport.
Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff offers d-pad and stylus control options, naturally, with the latter making for easy (possibly to easy) play-making. You can move your QB around and pass to your receiver with straightforward stylus drags and taps, leaving little to the imagination control-wise.
The DS version also adds Super Skills, buffs that give your quarterback, running back and receivers special abilities, adding to the arcade-style bent of Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff.
Tecmo's exhuming of the franchise may not appeal to the Madden set, with its faux teams, old school graphics and limited playbooks, but for lapsed football fans it might be worth checking out. We had fun, maybe you will too.