Android Quick App: Madden NFL 2011

EA Sports' series of Madden NFL football video games is easily one of the most popular sports video game franchises. So it's easy to see why we'd be excited to see it on Android. But Madden NFL 2011 on Android -- and the Motorola Droid X, specifically -- has gotten off to an inauspicious start. Read on to find out why.

YouTube link for mobile viewing

The came comes preloaded as a stub app on the Android 2.2.1 update to the Motorola Droid X on Verizon. That is, the game itself isn't actually preloaded; instead, you get a small application that prompts you to download the complete game data. And because the stub app is preloaded, you can't uninstall it without first rooting the phone.

It gets worse. Not only do we have a stub app that can't be easily removed -- when you finally download the game, it's not even the full game. No, you have to shell out $10 (which will be conveniently billed to your Verizon account) to play the full game. That's a big, fat fail, in our opinion.

But none of that is the game's fault. Madden NFL 2011 on Android is a decent diversion. The graphics are smooth, and are pretty good considering you're playing on a smartphone and not a game console. They're not nearly as deep as you'll get in the full console version -- the crowds are what stood out the most -- but they're not bad.

Gameplay is pretty consistent with what you're used to. You have a number of plays on offense and defense from which to choose -- running plays, passing plays, special teams -- and choosing formations is pretty simple.

You get a virtual joystick in the lower left corer, and virtual buttons with which you select players, tackle, toggle slow motion, etc. The joystick works fine, but there are a few too many buttons for our taste. Gameplay of this sort on a touchscreen is difficult at best -- we don't want to have to think about which button we're pressing. But that likely will fade with use, too.

All in all, Madden NFL 2011 is properly priced at $9.99. But Verizon blew it by first preloading it as a stub app (that's crapware, plain and simple) and again by not giving access to the full game. And that's pretty unforgivable. But, again, that's not the game's fault. Madden NFL 2011 is a decent diversion, and it looks pretty darn good on the Droid X's 4-inch screen. And it's nice to see Madden make it to Android.

Phil Nickinson
  • Yeah, also throw in it's another Droid Exclusive game
  • looks smooth though....
  • Who Dat?!
  • My hate for Verizon grows ever so deeper. They treat Android like their toilet where they can put all their crapware, and even better take away features from us so they can squeeze every last penny from their customers. Verizon, I hope you die and go to hell.
  • My hate for Verizon grows ever so deeper. They treat Android like their toilet where they can put all their crapware, and even better take away features from us so they can squeeze every last penny from their customers. Verizon, I hope you die and go to hell.
  • If I can't get it on my EVO, then I could care less about it
  • My thoughts exactly.
  • Crap like this only hurts Android as a gaming platform.
  • sounds like some people here have "Droid envy". :-) j/k Seriously though, why does it surprise anyone that it is Verizon exclusive, they signed the deal with the NFL.
  • The app being preloaded is only an inconvenience for.those who don't want it. I,, was thrilled to see it. I downloaded it and purchased it. For those who don't want to see bloatware on your phone, you can download launcher pro and hide those applications. It doesn't seem to be that deal of a deal to me.
  • Well, if you want it so badly, you can just download it from the market. Don't put it on our phones. Launcher Pro only hides the app like on a Blackberry. This bullshit has to stop.
  • I want that wallpaper Phil, where can I get it?
  • Verizon fail as always, but the game looks good!
  • So any word on it coming to the market? I heard that Need for Speed Hot will be in the market. So EA is getting interested it seems. Quick plug for the site. Phil your doing an awesome job as of late. Yesterday you had the kindle app review and today Madden 11. I'm liking the diversity in the types of reviews. Now all you need is a site designed for the Android browser!
  • So you're complaining that they didn't just hand every Droid X owner a license for a $10 EA top shelf mobile game? I'm sure EA had something to do with that as well, not just verizon. I'm sure they are in the business of making money.
  • Well that puts the final nail in the Palm Pre Plus coffin for me. Android on 12/31/2010. :-D
  • Kinda like that Asphalt 5 HD demo Telus added into the HTC Desire.
  • Same with Asphalt 5 on Sprint's Epic 4G. Advertised that Asphalt 5 was "preloaded" when it was released. Turned out to be a stub app and the download was only for a demo.
  • Wtf only for verizon.....terrible!
  • Wait, it's not that realistic of a game. The Colts actually made progress running the ball!
  • hi
    is there anyone out there that knows how to update my droid X manually or know how i can update it if im out of country (Israel) and i dont know when im coming back ???
    Please help also would love the calls through data so i can work through my cell phone and not pay massive amounts ???
    thanks for your help
  • Htc evo, rooted,myn rom
    Downloading via wifi as i type.
    I have on ipad but the drawing of routes for recievers turned me off
  • where did u find it? PM me....
  • Is the app to download for da 2011 madden mobile. Which one is it