Review of Fozzy Football (by Ryan Weisse)

The legend of “Paper Football” is alive and well with Fozzy Football. It takes about 7 seconds for nostalgia to kick in, but the new twist on this classic game does just about everything better than its predecessor. If you played paper football as a kid, you are ready to play Fozzy Football. If you did not play paper football but you are able to slide things approximately three feet, you are ready to play Fozzy Football. If you like having fun, you are ready to play Fozzy Football.

The Components

The game comes very well boxed and is a sight to behold once opened. The field is made of solid wood and Plexi-glass with red and blue throughout to give it that classic football feel. It comes with a level to help with setup, a ball that is made of metal with a clear bull's-eye in the middle to help see where it landed, and six sculpted minis to play defense if you want a tougher challenge. This is not your grand-dad’s paper football game. The copy I reviewed also came with a phone stand to keep the scoreboard app visible for all…yes, there is a scoreboard.

The board itself will be the object you spend the most time focusing on. You will set up on either the home (Red) or visitor (Blue) side, and this will affect who gets the ball first. Other than color, these sides are identical and where all the scoring is done. You will slide the ball from your side to your opponent’s in an attempt to gain yards or score a TD. The ball must make it to the end zone in order to gain yards or score a TD—if it doesn’t not, you will lose yards on the play. There is a bull's-eye in the middle for kicking plays, while the left side of the end zone is set up for run plays and the right is for pass plays. Each area inside the end zone, about an 8-inch field of play, corresponds to yards gained or lost, with the possibility of a turnover on each side. It seems a little intimidating at first but there is an app to keep track of everything for you while you play.

The App

Fozzy Football has a free companion app that does just about everything for you besides sliding the football. Each spot of the board has a corresponding option on the app. Did you run for 6 yards? Click that and the down and distance will advance. Sacked on the play? Throw an interception? These all have a button to click and the app will take care of the rest. The game is played just like real football, with four downs to gain 10 yards and make a new 1st down, small runs, big passes, turnovers, and long TDs. The app keeps track of all of that for you, plus the time remaining and the score.

While this could have easily been a basic calculator, Fozzy Football took it to the next level with commentary, too. Every time a play is made, a voice breaks down for you what just happened. He sounds crushed when an interception or fumble occurs and elated when you finally score a TD.

The Objective

Much like in paper football, the goal is to score touchdowns. You can hit the long bomb at any time by stopping your ball on the edge of the board without falling off but you can also play old-school ball and work your way up the field to manufacture points. Every yard counts as you try to score on your opponent. There are no kick-offs, so you start with the ball on your 25 yard line and a “1st and 10”, and you have 4 tries to achieve 10 yards to reset the downs back to 1st—just like regular football. You can slide the ball towards the right side of the end zone to go for bigger pass plays, but with a larger chance to fail. Or you can slide towards the left side run plays for a safer outcome but less yardage. Regardless of which side you choose, if you can make the ball stop on the back edge without falling off, you just scored a TD and the crowd goes wild!

Kicking is handled much the same way as the rest of the game, but you will use the bull's-eye in the center of the end zone. The farther you need to kick, the closer to the center you will need the ball to stop. This method is used for field goals, extra points, and punts.

If you fail to convert for a 1st down, the app will automatically choose punt or field goal for you based on your field position, but you always have the option to go for it on 4th, as well. The app will track time for you, and you play for 15 minutes. The team that scores the most points wins. It sounds simple; however, until you master your slide, it is anything but.

After you get the hang of playing the basic mode, you can then start setting up defenders on the field to add to the challenge. The defenders look awesome, but they will drive you crazy when you are attempting to score. They are the perfect twist to keep the game competitive once you start sliding the ball like a pro.

My Play Experience

I have not had a boring game yet! I will say that almost every time I play someone, it is their first time playing it, but everyone has loved it and is always ready to play again. First and foremost, the creator Steve Braun, sends a great “Thank You” note and some instructions…read them. Before you start, slide the ball quite a few times to get the hang of the board. If you do not, your first game could be challenging and low scoring. Once you find your sweet spot for sliding the ball, then you start challenging yourself and start a game within the game. You will try different strategies between running and passing and you will want to hit that bull's-eye every time you kick. All of this is made even better as you are racing the clock. It was two games in before I realized I had timeouts I could use to keep my friend from milking the clock and I used that to my advantage to kick a game-winning field goal on my third game. All in all, it is a game that you will want to play again and again, and your friends will be itching to get the next match after they see their first game played.

The Conclusion

FOZZY FOOTBALL IS JUST PLAIN FUN. Unlike some other party games, just about everyone can play it and will enjoy themselves, whether they like football or not. It is a great game for a family get together and your next football tailgate. It is easy to transport and set up and an immediate eye-catcher for everyone around you. I have taken to fantasy football drafts, birthday parties, and just over to a friend’s house to hang out…it takes over every time. Everybody who sees it wants to try to slide the ball a few times, and before you know it, you are playing another game and having an absolute blast.

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