It doesn’t take long to see why Madden 2011 is a truly exceptional iPad game. The first time you exploit an offensive weakness by quickly drawing a blitz before the snap and then crushing the quarterback, you’ll get it. So many of the controls and features are perfectly suited for the iPad--whether it’s tilting your device from side to side to check your receivers on the line of scrimmage or drawing new routes for all of them at once via the wonders of multi-touch.
You'll have to get used to a lot of buttons to excel on the field.
Passing also just works, and Madden offers two options for controlling it. You can tap on an intended receiver as they sprint down the field, and if they’re heavily defended, they’re marked off with a red square. When they’re in medium coverage, it’s yellow, and a green one means go. You can also pass by tapping a static button with the player’s jersey number at the bottom of the screen. While that isn’t the most dynamic option, we found it several times easier than the more realistic tap-the-receiver technique. Better yet, the character models look great from behind, where you spend most of your time controlling them. However, during touchdown celebrations, it quickly becomes apparent that your halfback basically has no face and suffers from some awfully janky joints. Tackles usually lead to limbs flying through torsos, like in an ancient videogame version of Madden, but still, this game’s mighty impressive on the iPad.
At press time, Madden supplied three modes of play--Exhibition, Season, and Playoffs--and EA’s promised that Multiplayer and Vintage Voltage are coming soon. Though Season and especially Playoffs are a ton of fun, we’re definitely jonesin’ to cream our friends in Multiplayer.
Despite several noticeable shortcomings, this is the best sports game you’ll find on any iOS device, and Madden truly shines where it’s custom-tailored to the iPad’s capabilities.
COMPANY: Electronic Arts