It's football season in America, and that means just one thing: a lot of very rich people are going to spend the next five months getting slightly richer. Oh, and a lot of people are going to have fun watching sports. Or playing them, as the case may be: Madden NFL 25 just landed in the Play Store. That's 25 as in the 25th anniversary of the first Madden video game - this year's release would otherwise be called Madden 2013 or similar.
Madden 25 mixes things up with a new control system, offering either the classic console-style joystick controls or new swipe controls. While you're running on offense or defense you can swipe in eight compass directions in order to perform various moves like stiff arms, jukes, and jives, and the like. All the features you'd expect are present, including online multiplayer and an all-star style team builder mode.
Last year's Madden NFL 12 was five bucks, which is pretty standard for a mobile game from a big publisher like EA. This year's release is free, and you know what that means: in-app purchases are now the focus of the game. Yup, just like nearly every other game out there the reward for wining is experience and cash, which works out as a two-tier in-app currency system. You can level up your players RPG-style, which is a little odd in itself, but you also have to unlock some of the trickier offensive plays with in-app currency. Pretty much every screen that isn't an actual play is pushing you towards spending real money, with a side order of Facebook social pushing.
Here's a concise review of the game for iOS from YouTube user "Crazy Mike's Apps," which should break down the major changes from last year's version. The Android game is only a month late this year.
The game's graphics are a definite bump up from 2012, and the new control changes should be helpful for at least a few players. Whether or not you can look past the rather pushy IAP nature of the game is a different matter. But hey, you can get a 25% discount on your imaginary money (that you buy with real money) this week only! So that's nice. International readers, the second widget below is for you.