Madden NFL 12 (iPad) Review

It seems no matter what platform you own, EA Sports has released a Madden game for it this year. PlayStation 2? Yep, you’re covered. Popular consoles? Again, covered. Even iPad owners are getting a taste of high definition football with a version of Madden NFL 12 to call their own. Problem is, it’s not quite the full game they might be expecting.

All of the NFL teams are represented fairly, complete with official numbers and names, and even official stadiums, so you feel like you’re on your stomping grounds when you play at home. The roster contains over 2,500 players, so there’s no doubt your favorites are included here. What’s more, they perform adequately, so Tom Brady has an amazingly good passing game, similar to what he did earlier this week on Monday Night Football.

However, accuracy can only go so far. Sometimes you also need to have game options to keep players entertained, and this is where Madden NFL 12 comes up short. Though there are a number of modes available, including the ability to relive moments from either the Green Bay Packers’ or New Orleans Saints’ seasons as they proceed towards the playoffs, they aren’t nearly as deep as what’s offered in the console versions.

What’s more, the playbook is severely lacking in running plays. Most of the time you end up passing or tring to do something with the quarterback. This takes away from the realism of the game, especially if you’re playing as a team that has a high dependency on the running game. EA could’ve easily mixed this up with more variety.

As for presentation, there are pros and cons, but unfortunately, most of the bad stuff outweighs the good. Being able to play your customized iPod soundtrack in the background is a nice touch, and a good change of pace from the arena music selected for the game. Unfortunately, that’s the primary benefit, as the graphics run into a serious amount of problems. The detail and frame rate aren’t that good, save for some of the background environment settings. Then there’s the game’s performance, weighed down by a good amount of frame rate issues, crashes, and freeze-ups. It’s almost like EA released this game before it could be a peak performer.

If all you have is an iPad and you want to get your football fix, we suggest sticking with Madden NFL 11 for the time being, until this version is fixed. It runs way better and has a much more varied playbook than this game. For a minute there, we thought that Madden NFL 12 would be as promising as its console brethren. Instead, it feels like a worn-out quarterback scrambling to find his game.