Retro Bowl: Kicking Off Mobile Madness at Foran High


Tyler Vinhais

Retro Bowl Redzone: End game in the red zone of Retro Bowl in the late fourth quarter.

Tyler Vinhais and Chris Adkins

     Recently, the mobile game Retro Bowl has exploded in popularity at Foran High School. Students of all grades are playing the mobile game everywhere.

     Junior Joe Gaetano states, “I started playing Retro Bowl a couple weeks ago because my friends were playing it. Majority of my friends on the football team play Retro Bowl and it just became a lifestyle really fast.”

     Retro Bowl is an American football game with an 80’s vibe created by New Star Games in January of 2020.

     The game is designed to be fun and easy to understand. It allows Retro Bowl players to manage and play as their own football team in hopes to win the Retro Bowl (similar to the Super Bowl).

     Junior Matthew Miller states, “It’s almost like Madden with the aspect of being able to create your own team.”

     Unlike Madden—the popular NFL based football game on console, computer, and mobile— Retro Bowl players are only responsible for their “star players” in the game. Star players cap out at 10 players (12 with the unlimited version which is $0.99) with the remaining spots being filled by replacement generated players. 

     Positions eligible for star players include quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends, wide receivers, offensive lineman, defensive lineman, linebackers, defensive backs, and kickers, as well as an offensive and defensive coordinator. 

     In the game, players are only in control of their offense, while the defense is a simulation. “Special Teams” play includes kicking a field goal or extra points, but not kicking off or punting.

     A player’s greatness is determined by their number of stars, ranging from one to five. Retro Bowl players are also able to view a player’s maximum potential of stars they are able to earn.

     A tedious (but realistic) feature is the salary cap starting at $150 million and being able to exceed $300 million.

     Of course, buying players or increasing the salary cap does come with a cost. The currency used throughout the game is referred to as “Coaching Credits.”

     With the currency, players are able to improve the stadium, training facilities, and rehab facilities.

     Two other significant features include the team morale and fans. Team morale determines the likelihood of players returning that following season and the fans determine the amount of coaching credits received after a game ranging from one to three.

     Retro Bowl has created an immense amount of interest due to the simplicity of the game. The basic features and “easy to pick up” controls have opened the game to a wider audience, creating an addiction for its fans.

     Samer Kalaf, managing editor of Defector, states, “Retro Bowl obviously does not have the complexity of other sports games like Football Manager or Out of the Park Baseball, but it’s a simplified version that’s compelling enough to turn into a time-consumer without you realizing it.”

     Retro Bowl has over 700,000 ratings with a mean of 4.8 out of 5 stars on the App Store and is currently ranked #1 for apps in Sports. Last May, it surpassed 1 million downloads, and that number will likely increase in the future.