By Mitchell Chapman
The mobile game “Retro Bowl” is constantly updating and its developers listen to fan feedback. We’ve covered the football game many times before — here’s our previous list of suggested improvements. Here’s five more ways “Retro Bowl” could be improved.
5. Expand the pool of free agents
During the season, you might need to hire a free agent to fill a hole in your roster. If you have salary cap space, the current system will usually work fine for you — you can pay five Coaching Credits to refresh your prospects if what you’re given doesn’t work for you.
But if you have a little salary cap left — usually under $10 million — you’ll probably be out of luck. Your only hopes of filling an empty slot is that a free agent that fits the bill randomly walks into your camp — something that I’ve found to be rare.
Players who are worth less than $10 million are not the best, but they are better than leaving their slot empty and letting your remaining salary cap go to waste. I think this can be solved by adding a third page of free agents that are very cheap but may not be the best.
4. Longer rookie contracts
Rookie contracts in the game are usually two years long, which is often not long enough to get proper mileage out of a player. I draft for potential, using year one as a development year, with their talents usually emerging by year two — after which, they are due for a huge pay increase via a new contract.
I usually extent their rookie contracts if they are good for a third year, giving myself another year of their ultra-cheap price before I have to relinquish them to free agency.
Rookie contracts should be at least three years in this game, as the benefit of drafting a rookie is that you’ll get a good, inexpensive player that you’ll have for many seasons, even if it means they might not be very good during year one.
New free agent contracts are three years by default, and those players usually need little growth. The only benefit of drafting rookies is that it doesn’t cost Coaching Credits to do and they can be far cheaper than any free agent — the draft is the only place you’ll reliably see contracts under $10 million and $5 million.
3. Freshen up the dilemmas
During the season, you will be presented with several dilemmas and press interviews. You usually can either gain something (like morale, Coaching Credits and Experience Points for your players) or you can lose something. Some dilemmas make you choose the lesser of two evils, such as punishing a player, making his morale drop, or letting him off the hook, which makes the team’s overall morale drop.
However, not every dilemma offers an interesting coaching challenge and could easily be dropped. One that I think could go is the game’s dilemmas in which a foreign reporter asks you what position a certain player is, which doesn’t present a unique coaching challenge. The above dilemma about a player being caught playing “Retro Bowl” is amusing, but is also overused in the game.
I think that there’s also some room to expand the dilemma system, such as when a player wants to return early from an injury. Some gamers might want to get that player back sooner rather than later even though they’d be at increased risk of reinjuring the player. Regardless, I think with some creativity, there are plenty of ways the game’s developers could freshen up this aspect of the game.
2. Have a preseason; increase the number of default draft picks
Because roster sizes are limited to 10 in the free version of the game (12 for the paid version) and your team gets only three draft picks by default, it’s in your best interest to use everyone you draft. But in the NFL, draft picks don’t always have that security and must prove themselves in the preseason.
The NFL preseason is three-games long, which should also be long enough for this game. I think the default number of draft picks needs to be increased to at least six to make a “Retro Bowl” preseason worth it.
The preseason would give gamers the freedom to experiment with draft picks without it costing them wins in the regular season. Some prospects might not be as good as they expected, others might exceed expectations and others might vastly improve over the course of those three games, perhaps so much so that it earns them a roster spot.
1. Add limited multiplayer
Multiplayer is the next big step for the mobile version of “Retro Bowl,” but we have to be careful here. This should not become like every other mobile game, where you have to play constantly in order to keep up in rankings with players around the world. The best thing about “Retro Bowl” is its convenience factor and the fact that it doesn’t ask for much player commitment — you can play a quick game on your lunch break, not play it for two weeks, then pick up where you left off. “Retro Bowl” lets you play at your own pace and level of difficulty; that should not be compromised.
But the game could certainly benefit from the ability to play others online in limited 1-v.-1 matches. It’s a mobile game with real limitations; full online leagues might be too much for now, but single matches I think the game can handle.
How do you think “Retro Bowl” can be improved?
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