OS Scores Explained Pro Strategy Football 2013 Overview (iPhone)
Excellent depth, every simulation management option you could imagine, realistic stat production.
Menus are too complex for their own good, options not laid out in the best way, interface a bit bland.
Bottom Line
A game that, with some improvements, will be one of iOS's best sports game...just it is not there yet.
out of 10
Pro Strategy Football 2013 REVIEW

Pro Strategy Football 2013 Review (iPhone)

Reviewing iOS games is always a hard task, because while some games try to offer complete and deep experiences, that is often not what people using the platform are really demanding.

Games which are simple to navigate and easy to play are what make the best games on the smaller screen. The more a game tries to fit into that few inches of screen real estate, it’s almost certain the more clunky it is going to end up feeling.

Pro Strategy Football 2013, weighing in at $5 on the app store, borders on that line, with more options to manage a football team in-game than you can shake a stick at. In many ways, PSF 2013 is perhaps one of the deeper attempts at simulating a sport on mobile devices, it’s just that the interface can’t handle all of the options you are inevitably given.

You are greeted on the home screen with four different apparent options, you have a scrimmage game, season play, saved games, and multiplayer to choose from. However, the core of the game revolves around managing a pro football team more on the field than off of it.

You have several different options while managing your games, you can adjust lineups and call different plays based upon how you want to attack your opponent. You can select different plays on offense based upon where you want to attack. It really does sound great in theory, but everything is buried within a few layers deep of menus to get your entire offense fully called in. Getting the right play called can sometimes take a good bit of time to ensure you have everything set up the way you want. I constantly found myself wanting to hit an easy button to make everything simpler for me within this part of the game.

Defensively, PSF 2013 deserves some major kudos for releasing with what I’d like to think are some of the most realistic defensive play call options available — as you do call plays for each level of your defense while also assigning coverage types and blitzers. Defensive play calling is much simpler than on offense — but there are still several menus you have to run through to make sure you call everything right.

Really, the menus for play calling are my main gripe with this game. Everything else is there on-field to make this a great tactical simulator of football. The stats the game generates, as well as the visual gameplay are good enough to make you want to keep playing, but there are oftentimes options hidden in menus several layers deep, which means you can sometimes lose important options when you need them most -- such as the no-huddle option. The game never tries to be bold and suggest courses of action you should take as the coach, which would probably make it much more accessible and quite a bit more fun.

The animations and such on the field are fine and remind you somewhat of Tecmo Bowl and if you are crunched for time you can just push the skip button to skip through the on-field action. Personally, I really would like an option to speed up the on-field gameplay and not just slow it down, as I found the pace of the action on field was a hair slow.

The scenario editor included in the options is quite fun to play with, as you can set up just about any scenario you can dream of within the game and try to play it out on the field. Anything from trying to come from behind late in the game to trying to protect a sensitive lead with the clock winding to trying to stage a monumental comeback in the second half down big are all possible.

The season mode allows you to play or sim any game within a 16-game NFL like schedule. However, there are no team management options within the season mode and it is limited to just playing out a 16-game schedule and then the playoffs -- so anyone looking for a management sim off-the-field will have to look elsewhere.

The playcall menus can be a bit cumbersome to put it mildly.

Final Thoughts

The options are certainly immense with this game, you can do just about everything pre-snap strategically within the game of football if you take time to learn the extensive interface. However, the iOS platform doesn't lend itself well to this type of approach, as most poeple are after a plug-and-play type of experience.

There is a really good game of football in here somewhere that could come out with later updates, and anyone who doesn’t mind a more complex iOS experience should give this a shot. However, the $5 price tag along with the menus which are too complex and sometimes confusing, make this game something you should skip if you like simple and clean experiences on your mobile device.

Score: 6.5 (Above Average)

Scoring Note: This game really almost meanders into 7.0 (good) range, but the interface really does need a lot of cleaning up. There are situations where things are laid out well, but those options are hidden within options. A bit of focus on simplicity in the future would make this game a worthy title for your $5.

Member Comments
# 1 tarek @ 01/09/14 07:12 PM
I've been playing this on ios and having fun. Hopefully future improvements are made including a multi-year career type mode.
# 2 ralphieboy11 @ 01/09/14 07:27 PM
I've been enjoying this as well. Definitely worth the small money spent. Some changes to the menus and graphics in the future could make this really good. I agree with the review.
# 3 burjeffton @ 01/10/14 12:26 AM
Chris, did you review this on an iPad or iPhone? Just wondering if there would be a big difference between them.
# 4 GlennN @ 01/10/14 09:53 AM
It is good, but I'd prefer an iOOTP-type football game. Front Office Football mobile version anyone?
# 5 MMChrisS @ 01/10/14 11:14 AM
Originally Posted by burjeffton
Chris, did you review this on an iPad or iPhone? Just wondering if there would be a big difference between them.
I reviewed it on the iPhone. I'm going to effort a supplemental iPad review soon. I'd hope the interface is a bit better. If it were, this is a very worthy game. It just might not be the best for the smaller screen.
# 6 Stitch01 @ 01/14/14 05:34 PM
This looks a lot like an old DOS game called Tom Landry football.
# 7 Elway7 @ 01/15/14 08:55 PM
Originally Posted by Stitch01
This looks a lot like an old DOS game called Tom Landry football.
It's made by the same guy.
# 8 ProStrategyFootball @ 01/30/14 11:41 PM
Thank you for the review. I'm now working on 2014 requirements and features, and multi-season career mode is at the top of my list, as is adding a Novice mode with much simpler options. BTW, if you guys haven't tried multiplayer yet, you should! I've been matching up against various people, and every game has come down to the wire. Folks surprise me, and we're having great games!
# 9 Aggies7 @ 02/27/14 09:43 AM
Originally Posted by GlennN
It is good, but I'd prefer an iOOTP-type football game. Front Office Football mobile version anyone?

I wish. I have been waiting for a game like that for iOS since I first got my iPhone.

I hope the one by OOTP comes out on iOS when it's released for the PC.
# 10 FBall Life @ 02/27/14 11:12 AM
Any chance this is coming to Android?
# 11 ProStrategyFootball @ 02/27/14 07:08 PM
Originally Posted by FBall Life
Any chance this is coming to Android?
I hope to, and there's a tool, AppPortable, that looks very promising. I work on this part time, and I've just added some more offensive formations. My next big task is to design a Franchise Coaching mode, and then I'm going to try out AppPortable.
# 12 Aggies7 @ 02/28/14 05:22 AM
Originally Posted by ProStrategyFootball
I hope to, and there's a tool, AppPortable, that looks very promising. I work on this part time, and I've just added some more offensive formations. My next big task is to design a Franchise Coaching mode, and then I'm going to try out AppPortable.

Now that would be a blast with trading and drafting. Hope it happens.
# 13 ProStrategyFootball @ 02/28/14 10:08 AM
Thanks, Aggies7. My emphasis will still be coaching, not GM duties. In Career mode, there will be players aging out, new ones coming in, etc, but most of the emphasis is going to be on matters like preseason training, preparing your team for the upcoming opponent, etc. Given the complexity, I also expect my first Career mode to be single-player. If it takes off, then I'll look into creating a server-based multi-player Career mode in the future. Baby steps, though!

I am also going to provide a more basic play calling interface and let users choose between the basic and advanced levels when coaching a game, since the current advanced level can be a bit overwhelming for people who haven't worked up to it.
# 14 ProStrategyFootball @ 04/24/14 04:27 PM
The UI is undergoing a major makeover, guys, and the Android conversion is coming along nicely. In fact, I have it "working" almost 100%, but the UI will need a lot of work - and no multiplayer yet. Now that I have the conversion down, I'd like to switch back to the career thoughts.

But I have a key question regarding how you first create a career. I'll give you the option of selecting any team, of course, but what about the "difficulty" or "realism" - meaning, say you select Seattle. By default, you would have a great team and be expected to go to the Super Bowl or at least the Conference Championship game. Would you want an option like "I want to pick team x, but make them all newbies"?
# 15 statnut @ 05/09/14 10:55 PM
I think I'd prefer realism, but that's just me. Can't wait to see an Android version!
# 16 ProStrategyFootball @ 10/02/14 07:30 PM
Hey, just an update. I've submitted PSF 2014 to the App Store for review. I've begun work on the Android conversion, which I hope to complete in a few months. My goal this was year was to complete these six things:
- incorporate lots of users' ideas (done)
- improve the UI presentation and flow (done)
- Casual Play (done)
- add Career Play (about 50% complete)
- Android (about 40% complete)
- iCloud for sharing files between my devices (haven't started yet)

The new "Casual Mode" allows you to call plays at a high level (like inside run on offense, or "defend against outside runs" on defense) and leave all the nitty gritty details to the offensive and defensive coordinators. And you can switch between Casual and Hard Core mode during a game.

BTW, here are quite a few iPad screenshots:

# 17 sadams33 @ 10/02/14 07:39 PM
great thanks for your work
# 18 tarek @ 10/02/14 10:05 PM
Awesome! Can't wait.
# 19 ProStrategyFootball @ 10/04/14 03:17 PM
Hey, I don't know where to ask this, but I was hoping to post something under "Other Football Games" but I can't create a post. Nor can I check private messages. I guess my account isn't open on the forums? I was thinking it would be nice to have a new 2014 thread. When I go to the Forums page, it indicates that I'm logged in.
# 20 tarek @ 10/04/14 05:08 PM
Not sure mate. Maybe we can check with one of the moderators. Also, contact the site guys about the game, then we can have not only a forum post dedicated to the 2014 version, but a front page post and OS article/review. That would be great I think!

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