Since owning an iPhone, I've seen and played my fair share of bad
games on this Smartphone and many of these titles fortunately come
from overseas. If I had a dollar for each bad app available on the
iPhone, I think I would be a rich man but interestingly enough, many
of the titles produced in Australia such as Fruit Ninja have
actually been quite decent.
needless to say when I heard that there would be "another" AFL game
on the iPhone, I was a little apprehensive because no one has really
cracked this sporting genre perfectly. However when I heard that
Wicked Witch Software were responsible, the creators of AFL for the
Nintendo Wii, my hopes for a good Australian Football League game
was looking up.
After installing the game on my iPhone 4S, I was treated to a very
slick interface that was reminiscent of the Wii version and even
featured the song Holy Grail by Hunters & Collectors.Before
jumping into the game, the first thing you need to do is create your
player profile and once completed, you can then start playing AFL
The game offers a variety of gameplay modes that include Quick
Match, Custom Match, Career Manager, Competition and other fun
options such as a Team Editor and a list of Achievements. Best of
all, this is an officially sanctioned AFL products which means all
the official teams of the AFL are included in the game and even the
players! The Career Manager is also quite cool as it allows you to
go behind the scenes as a "Manager" but still allows you to play.
After creating my profile, I jumped straight into the Quick Match
which automatically picks your teams but this can also be changed by
the player, including the Guernseys of your team. It also gives the
player a rating of the teams that you play out of 100% which is
based on the 2011 AFL ladder.
clicking on Team stats, it breaks down this percentage into a number
of key AFL attributes such as attacking (e.g. handball), defending
(e.g. tagging) and movement (e.g. marking). Rather than fiddle with
the game, I decided to go with what the app chose which was the
Brisbane Lions (66%) and the Gold Coast Suns (69%). The game took
place at the SCG in wet weather conditions and to compound the
situation, the wind was around 25 kph which needed to be taken into
Once in the game, the touch screen works surprisingly well for an
AFL game. There is a virtual thumbstick to control your player and
there are a number of options available to the player that include
handball, kick, mark, tackle, pick up ball, punch, hip & shoulder,
soccer, evade, aggression, technique and cycle player. Although the
game does allow for basic controls, there are several advanced
controls also available such as different kicks (e.g.. torpedo and
drop punt) to performing speckies and all sorts of AFL thoroughly
The in-game icons which allows you interact with the game when you
don't have the ball include Technique (allows you to perform
advanced moves), Aggression (increases power of your player), Cycle
Player (change between players), Mark, Hip & Shoulder (bump or
shepherd another player) and Soccer (allows you to soccer the ball
without picking it up).
When you have the ball or performing another facet of AFL, these
icons change in order to give the player a diverse and authentic AFL
experience. With that said, I was actually quite surprised at how
accurate and responsive the controls were and when I kicked by first
goal which happened quite early in the game, I was over the moon.
What I do like about the difficulty in AFL Gold Edition is the
ability to tweak the intricacy of the title and length of quarters.
This ensures that gamers of all different levels can easily get into
the game and start playing with more seasoned veterans having the
ability of upping the difficulty for a real challenge. Although this
review briefly scratches the surface of this game, it's easily one
of the better AFL experiences that I've had the pleasure of playing
and although it's not perfect, it's quite close.
Some issues that I have noticed with the first release of this game
are the menus which are sometimes a little unresponsive and fiddly
to use. It's almost like this game has been ported directed from the
Wii in this regard. However, for the most part, the responsiveness
of the gameplay is quite good but due to the size of the iPhone
screen, the play does become a little cluttered, especially when
there are too many players around. Even so, this will keep most AFL
fans extremely happy during the summer and hopefully upcoming
patches will bring out a 2012 ladder.
The only other issue that I had with this app for the iPhone 4S were
the loading times. Considering that I have the best iPhone
available, it is a little slow in loading games but hopefully this
will be addressed later on.
Graphically, AFL looks brilliant on the iPhone 4S and definitely
mimics the Wii version in terms of a quality presentation. The
stadiums look authentic and all the players are extremely well
animated plus the game uses some great camera angles. The weather
effects and lighting looks quite realistic and there were no issues
at all with the graphics whatsoever. Sound effects replicate all the
real-world sounds of Football well, especially the crowd and awesome
commentary but unfortunately the main menu song (Holy Grail) does
become a little too repetitive.
This review has just scratched the surface of this game and if
you're looking for your AFL fix, than here it is. Whether you're
playing a 2.5 minute quarter or something considerably longer, the
game can be tweaked to suit the player. However where this game
shines is through the strong gaming engine that works perfectly on
the iPhone. Add in the official AFL branding and awesome graphics
and AFL Gold Edition once again proves that Australia are on the top
of their game when it comes to iOS apps!