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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • matt

    Argh! I wish we could buy games like in the old day!

  • dandmcd

    Facebook, energy, upgrading and leveling up players, playbook plays have to be purchased to use.... there is no manager or franchise modes. What a freaking load of suck. The video got me pissed off at EA, reading the retarded reviews on the Play Store made me more infuriated, because people like this guy will keep allowing EA to keep up their bad habits.....

    ":) Holy moly first time I can play madden on my android n its compatible :) 5 stars jus for that lol"

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  • HolyFreakingCrap

    I am sick of EA's Free2Play but Pay2Win crap. I am ready to go back to paying one time for a game and thats it. Screw in game purchases and DLC, I am done with that non-sense.

    • dandmcd

      Yeah, ti's bad enough with other franchises being crapified on mobile, but ruining the only choice for NFL gaming on your phone is pretty sickening. What really sucks is if another developer could have rights to the NFL and players ,we'd see many good simulations being built for those that want to enjoy a real football game, and have access to tons of stats, trading, realism, managerial modes, on top of a fun football game. Since nobody can have that license, nobody wants to invest in making a game with fake teams and players, since it won't sell well without the NFL name attached. EA could deliver the experience NFL fans want on their mobile phone, but since there is no competition and they don't take mobile seriously yet since consoles are their moneymaker, they can do whatever they please.

  • Owen Finn

    EA started this "Pay to Win" BS several years ago, when they introduced DLCs to their Battlefield franchise. Since then, it's been downhill.

  • mike

    I'm sick of all these free to play games that eats up your pockets in the long run . I rather pay for a full version game one flat fee but no with all these greedy companies everyone is hoping on the in app purchases. EA didn't start it but there just as bad for joining it .

  • desmond

    How do you earn bucks I can't for some reason and I don't want to spend money for them