NFL Head Coach Preview

NFL Head Coach is the game that puts you in the position of manager of a professional football team. This is a game with a big focus on management and a very small focus on the gritty on-field play of other football titles. While there is a graphically up to date football game going on in-game, you are not a player, you’re strictly a manager/head coach.

While we were only able to get our hands on the demo version of this particular title (the developers are hoping to finish this month), we are still able to get a fairly complete view of the game and gameplay. On the plus side of this title is the extensive amount of information available to you. From scouting reports for every player to your computer, phone, and play creation options, you will be able to draw off of a surprisingly large number of resources to determine who’s best for what role, whether you’re recruiting players, making calls, or planning the latest highlight reel-making play.

As we mentioned earlier, the graphics are "up to date" in the sense that the players are well rendered and the action is crisp and fairly realistic. However, the graphical portion of this game is the equivalent to a football oriented ant-farm. You simply set up the plays, players, offensive/defensive strings, and motivate your players, then sort of, let them fly. You are given no real control during the game itself and the game playing out is more the culimination of your choices than anything you have a say in.

Motivating players is an interesting twist to this genre. You can cajole, hype up, motivate, demean, threaten, and downright insult players in mini-motivation sessions when you feel it’s necessary. Keep your players at their peak and happy, or just blindly aggressive enough to get the job done – it’s an interesting dynamic. There are nice touches like this throughout the demo.

Running a play in practice mode actually makes your team better at performing it, the more you run it, the better you get. Also, the better coach you become and the more recognition you gain, the more access you have to better players, different draft choices and the ability to eventually craft your version of a dream team.

Despite the large amount of options and surprisingly deep menu system, this game is not without its flaws. the (mostly complete) demo has almost NO graphical options and did not run fullscreen. The sound was lackluster and with the absence of graphical options, suffered from some aliasing and glitches. Also as mentioned before, the game playing out before you, and can be somewhat tedious. You can only get so excited about watching AI controlled players going through their paces, making mistakes and getting shut down if you’re dying to BE the quarterback and break through the line.

It’s truly a strategy game at heart and makes no claims to be anything else, so this will probably appeal to a niche market. If you live, breathe and eat football and know every coach, play and player from the last twenty years, you’ll be in management heaven. Look for NFL Head Coach later this month for your strategy football fix. If you have one, that is.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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