Right then, John Madden Football. As a young English kid growing up on the brilliant Amiga 500 this game caused me instant confusion. I have to admit – I picked out and played this game by complete accident as the name in the title talks about Football.
The only Football game I’d ever heard about was played with a round ball down the park between jumpers as goal posts. So after enjoying long spells on Kick Off and Sensible Soccer, I borrowed a “Football Game” off my next door neighbour called John Madden Football.
Who the hell is John Madden? I guess he is some Kevin Keegan guy that I’ve never heard of, I told myself.
Anyway, following the initial confusion and cursing my next door neighbour I persevered with John Madden and it opened up a whole new world to me: American Football. It was like a cross between kick off and Speedball only you could choose between what seemed like highly elaborate plays. I’d never seen a game of American Football and this game over time became my education on all things related to American Football.
15 years later I still find myself playing the latest EA Sports versions and this all boils down to the Amiga Versions adictability that has stuck with me over the
years. I now watch the NFL on TV and tune in to the Super Bowl religiously.
As for the game itself, I remember being frustrated by the umpteen stoppages in between plays, the constant selection of tactics and not being allowed to “Just play the bloody game”. However, as my understanding grew I realised this was a major element of American Football games. There was as much strategy and cunningness required as actual skill to produce the plays.
There is largely no difference between the latest John Madden games and this one, except the graphics and sound are not as good – as is the case with all Amiga games due to their development. But as is also the case with many Amiga games, this paved the way for the future.
This game was definitely not one of the games that I played the most during my Amiga gaming career, but it does provide many happy memories and has allowed me to enjoy watching and playing the John Madden Series. The NFL should be proud of this game that exported its brand around the world.