Magnet’s Newest Craze: Retro Bowl

The greatest invention since sliced bread

Magnets Newest Craze: Retro Bowl

Recently, most of the boys of Magnet have been glued to their phone screens. If you see someone holding their phone in landscape mode, thumbs twiddling away, usually muttering curse words under their breath, they’re probably playing Retro Bowl. This new phenomenon is just a simple mobile game. If you are unaware of what I am talking about let me explain.

Retro Bowl is an 8-bit football game developed by New Star Games. It was released in January of 2020 originally only on Android OS; two weeks later it would be released on the App Store (iOS). Its app description states, “Retro Bowl is the perfect game for the armchair quarterback to finally prove a point. Presented in a glorious retro style, the game has simple roster management, including press duties and the handling of fragile egos, while on the field you get to call the shots. Can you pass the grade and take your team all the way to the ultimate prize? Can you win the Retro Bowl?”. The game boasts 60,000 downloads worldwide, and produces about $75,000 in yearly revenue. While the game is free, it does have in-app purchases that are good. Players have the option to “upgrade” to Unlimited Retro Bowl. I still haven’t bought it yet, but if you have the 99 cents it’s worth it. This is not an ad for Retro Bowl, but with unlimited you get: 12 roster spots (instead of 10), the ability to change the weather, an extra 50 million in cap space (which is super important), the ability edit teams, their jerseys, and player names.


I took some time to ask Magnet students if they play Retro Bowl, and if so, what was their favorite part? First I spoke to Charlie Kuyper, a fellow member of the Talon staff. He showed the game to me so I figured it would be necessary to ask him about his favorite part. His favorite part is “the emotional attachment [he] builds for his players season after season. When a player gets injured, I cry myself to sleep.” I tend to agree, player injuries can devastate your season by forcing you to use back ups. Next, I talked to junior Garrett Griffin. He is an eight season veteran of this game.

A player who has purchased the “Unlimited” version

His favorite part is “throwing dimes like I’m Brady.” Freshman Hunter Kuhnell’s least favorite part of the game is “when your running back gets tackled once and fumbles, while your quarterback can get tackled 500 times and never fumble”. This is surprisingly true, I don’t think my quarterback has ever fumbled, even with super low morale. Personally, I think the best part of the game is the role the user has. The ability to decide your own roster, choose your own coaches, and manage your own trades and facilities is very unique. It’s not like in Madden franchise (which does not exist on mobile) mode where your role is set in stone. Also, its way less complex then Madden or Madden Mobile.

While Retro Bowl has a lot of pros, it definitely has cons. I am sure I could compile a long list of grievances but I will keep it short. First, it’s rigged when you try to throw to a receiver covered by a max speed corner, the corner is literally running the route better than your player. It also sucks when the CPU chases you down from 50 yards out and stops you inside the five yard-line. The fact that your stadium and other facilities can actually decline bums me out. Another major issue with the game is switching teams. You can switch teams at the end of each season and sometimes teams will be advertised as “Double 5 Stars” meaning the team has a 5-star offense and defense. Unfortunately, when you arrive half the team has retired and now you’re stuck rebuilding a franchise (ask seniors Will Muirhead or Carter Limbert for more information on this). The biggest grievance I have is the in-game currency, the “coaching credits.” Coaching creds are entirely dependent on fans, which means, no fan = no money, no money = no good players, no good players = a bad couple of seasons. Then by the transitive property, no fans = bad seasons, and frankly, a lot of wasted time. The developers attempt to combat this is by giving the user the ability to shorten the quarters to one minute. So, if you’re in the progress of “tanking” (intentionally losing and giving away players to accumulate draft picks with the hope of developing them into better players) you can do it a little quicker.

If you haven’t given the game a chance, it’s worth your time. One last thing, I was unable to attain a leaderboard on who has the most Retro Bowls (the game’s version of the Super Bowl). However, if you’re reading this and want to be considered, reach out to my email with a screenshot of your Hall of Fame screen, what year you are on, and your “difficulty dynamic” ( I will update this article in the next issue of The Talon.