• Publisher: Tecmo
  • Release Date: Nov 18, 2008

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. 85
    With arcade-like, simplistic game play and easy controls, Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff gives a nice little alternative to the realism found in that other football title. Now if we could only get an Xbox Live Arcade or PSN version with online leagues life would be grand.
  2. Tecmo’s gridiron throwback is as addictive and fun as it was in 1989.
  3. 80
    It’s never going to be the next Madden in terms of sales or simulation, but what Tecmo Bowl Kickoff does offer is fast, fun football action on the go and you owe it to yourself to pick it up, especially if you grew up with the series and want to bring a little nostalgia back into your life.
  4. 77
    One solid, well-designed retro football experience. It's a great "remember when" piece; the football experience definitely has a hard time holding up to today’s sports experiences, but Tecmo does everything it can to make sure Tecmo Bowl fans have something to cherish in a current generation product on the Nintendo DS.
  5. Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff is a faithful reinterpretation of the classic pigskin game that everyone knows and loves.
  6. Except for those hardest of the hardcore old school Tecmo Bowl fans, there are few gamers who would say that Tecmo Bowl’s antiquated gameplay in any way holds a candle against today’s immersive 3D football offerings. But for those looking for a nostalgic trip down memory lane, Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff fits the bill perfectly.
  7. For long-time Tecmo Bowl fans looking for a new fix, Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff gets the job done as a solid, if unspectacular, entry in the storied franchise. However, neophytes are unlikely to appreciate its arcade spin on football and retro-gaming appeal.
  8. 70
    For those who fondly remember tapping the "A" button as fast as they could to avoid tackles, this is an enjoyable title, mainly because of the feelings of nostalgia it will inspire.
  9. 70
    If nostalgia is your game, the original Tecmo Bowl on Virtual Console still remains unbeaten after all these years.
  10. One could easily wring 30+ hours out of this game before getting bored with it. However, don't expect an experience like that of EA's Madden NFL 09; you'll be sorely disappointed.
  11. A new Tecmo Bowl game has been long overdue, and it's appreciated that they made one. However, for the next version, we need more.
  12. I'm glad the game actually came out, and I hope that Tecmo uses it as a stepping-stone for a better game in the near future.
  13. Kickoff does a great job of satiating my hunger for old-school videogame football--a yearning I didn't even know I had. [Dec 2008, p.84]
  14. I had high hopes for the return of my favorite childhood football game. But without any meaningful new features or the NFL license to prop up the game on nostalgia value, it fails to turn in a memorable performance.
  15. This misguided remake proves that you can never go home again.
  16. Althought the concept held up through Tecmo Super Bowl on the Super NES in 1993, 15 years later it just feels archaic. [Dec 2008, p.96]
  17. 60
    As it stands, Tecmo Bowl Kick Off doesn't have enough features to propel it to must buy status. It's a neat throwback, but its dated visuals, lack of options and ridiculous team names make it a rental at best.
  18. Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff is a missed opportunity, and probably should have stayed retired rather than risk its hall of fame status.
  19. But what’s the point of making your favorite team when they play like beginners?
  20. Simply put, Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff is too antiquated, glitchy, bland and feature-poor to compete in the modern sports game market. Even for fans of the series, there’s not a whole lot here that improves on the formula perfected by Tecmo Super Bowl, and there are even a few steps backward to be found.
  21. 50
    One of the game's goofier oversights is not telling you where you are on the field. If it's fourth down, a menu will pop up that asks if you want to punt, kick a field goal, or go for it. Yet there's no indication if you're on your own 30-yard line or your opponent's. And no way to call a play, then a timeout, to find out. So bogus.

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