Football Games Continue With QUICKHIT NFL Football

Quickhit NFL FootballFootball titles on Facebook aren’t limited to major games from Electronic Arts and CBS Sports. There’s also Quickhit NFL Football from QuickHit Inc., a stand-alone football-game website that has been around since early September. While not as big as its predecessors, Quickhit does come with a multi-year license from the NFL, granting them legal rights to use NFL trademarks, teams, and names.

According to the developers, Quickhit has already picked up more than a million users on Facebook. With the start of the NFL season and a Madden’esque type of play, we can see why Quickhit grew so rapidly.

Quickhit is very good at hooking new players. About 10 seconds after jumping onto the website, you pick an NFL team and are thrown into the top-down view of a game’s forth quarter. Unlike other social titles,  this game is not automatically played and decided solely by statistics. Rather, you actually direct the action, play by play.

PlaysThe game works similarly to the console Madden titles. You are given a play clock and a set number of plays, and must choose one before receiving a penalty. Each play is a legitimate football play, but it’s up to the player to choose the best one. If you don’t  know that much about football, there is also a “Coach’s Pick” that typically represents one of the better options — but perhaps not the best.

Once you choose the play, then the computer takes over and automates the process. How the individual players on the team perform, however, is determined by how high their “Training” is, and what “Skills” they have.

Before these stats can be set, you actually have to sign up for Quickhit — the first game was a quick ploy to get the new user interested. You can connect using credentials from a number of social networks including Facebook Connect. Once you’re signed in, you can access the rest of the game features.

The Training in Quickhit will be familiar to social sports-manager game players. But Quickhit doesn’t focus on signing new player contracts. Instead, the game allows you to spend a currency called CP (Coaching Points) to improve the lineup you already have. These points are earned by playing games and completing various challenges. The higher your level, the more you can train an individual team member.

SkillsEach individual player on your team has a set level, which indicates their training level. As this number increases, the CP cost also grows. Higher levels also unlock new skills. These skills become passive abilities that improve an individual team member’s performance and include bonuses to breaking tackles, catching, passing, running, and so on. If you ever finds yourself short on CP, you can always “Untrain” players to earn some back.

The game also has a number of interesting challenges for you to overcome. Beyond just random, quick games, you can take part in Season, Division, Coaches’, and Draft Showdown Challenges. Each of these are single-player challenges that pit you against your chosen team’s actual 2010 schedule, both NFL divisions, the league’s top coaches, and teams made up of the top draft picks respectively. These add a great deal of longevity to the game.

Facebook Connect isn’t utilized all that much, but you can compete with other players through online matches. These play more or less the same as the single-player matches. Players are also sorted by their relevant skill levels (Easy, Medium, or Hard). Once in a game, there is a built in chat system, and there are competitive leaderboards for both the single and multiplayer brackets.

3DMonetization for Quickhit is a bit unusual. There is a virtual currency called Quick Cash, used to buy new plays and the occasional Free Agent Player. You can also upgrade your account to a subscription base ($3.99/month) and play online in 3D. The subscription comes with a monthly allowance of Quick Cash and Coaching Points. If you don’t wish to subscribe, you can opt to pay about $15, one time, and get just the 3D. For some, this might be worth it, as the top-down, 2D view is rather drab and highly pixilated.

For those that love Madden, but don’t want to spend $60, then Quickhit may be worth checking out. However, the games in Quickhit are not particularly complex: pick play, watch play, repeat. Even picking a play felt a bit empty, because you can  choose the Coach’s Pick and come out alright most of the time.  But this probably changes as you level up and opponents get tougher.

In the end, Quickhit NFL Football is a nice, socially connected, title for those that enjoy the sports game genre. It has a decent balance of management and in-game playmaking. Also, it’s multiple single player challenges and multiplayer segments do add longevity. It isn’t as good as its console counterparts, but it is free to play and low-cost to upgrade.