Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff DS

  • 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
Buy On
  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. 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.
  3. Tecmo’s gridiron throwback is as addictive and fun as it was in 1989.
  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. 70
    If nostalgia is your game, the original Tecmo Bowl on Virtual Console still remains unbeaten after all these years.
  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. 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.
  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. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    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. Nintendo Power
    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]
  16. This misguided remake proves that you can never go home again.
  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. 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.
  20. But what’s the point of making your favorite team when they play like beginners?
  21. 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.

Awards & Rankings

#38 Most Discussed DS Game of 2008
#56 Most Shared DS Game of 2008
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. JustinD.
    Jun 12, 2009
    An old classic brought back to life, the Tecmo Bowl series was insanely popular, back when there was no Madden or 2K Sports to rule the An old classic brought back to life, the Tecmo Bowl series was insanely popular, back when there was no Madden or 2K Sports to rule the market. And what you got in those Tecmo Bowl games back then, are a spitting image of what you get here, for better or worse. A graphic and engine style that could run on an NES, it's simple gameplay is easy to pick up, but difficult to master. Or, in other words, for a Madden generation, confusing to master. Passing can be done in two ways. First with buttons, where tapping a button will go through your recievers until you land upon one which you want to throw to, and then you'd press the button to throw, which is quite different than having a reciever assigned to a button you could simply press, but for retro sake, the old style remains. Secondly, and slightly easier is to use the DS touch screen. With the touch screen, you can tap your reciever twice to select and throw the ball. This seems like the better of the two, but the touch pad can have some sensitivty and placement issues, many times which resorts in the user tapping directly on the reciever, but it never registering, which leads to a nice sack in your confusion. The running game is simple enough, pick the play and move with the D-Pad. Another option is leading your back by dragging the stylus over the touch pad, but here, D-Pad is easier. One of the huge draws about this game is it's INCREDIBLY in-depth game editor. Obviously this game has no NFL license, and it's players are randomly generated names and teams which on start-up have vague associations with pro teams. But with the editor, you can change absolutely everything about a team, from name, city, colors, uniforms, logo, and playbook. Which goes without saying, players are fully editable as well, along with stats, and with a bit of effort, you can have a replica of the NFL in no time. The replayability comes with the addition of a Season mode, where you simply pick a team and play out a season. It has a simplistic trading mode between teams that can keep things interesting, but for game mode depth, that's the only option. Overall, the game is very easy to find yourself picking up and playing many times throughout a day, and being hard to put down. Full Review »
  2. wowboywowboy
    Dec 5, 2008
    Finally! I've been waiting and I'm glued like I was back in the day. The stylus control is sweet and the gameplay is the way I Finally! I've been waiting and I'm glued like I was back in the day. The stylus control is sweet and the gameplay is the way I remember it. Worth the cost of my DS! Full Review »
  3. PaulC
    Nov 20, 2008
    Don't listen to reviewers. This is a GREAT football game and a history lesson to all youngsters that Tecmo Bowl was the building Don't listen to reviewers. This is a GREAT football game and a history lesson to all youngsters that Tecmo Bowl was the building foundation for all of video game football today. Tecmo Bowl Kickoff does not mess with the old formula. It plays exactly like it did 17 years ago with some new improvements. HUT, HUT, HUT this game is FUN, FUN, FUN. See you online!!! Full Review »