Wild Card Football... Reviewed!

Before I jump into this review, I want to give a shout-out to Playgrounds Sports & Saber Interactive for supplying us with a copy of this game for review. I haven't played an arcade football game in a while... I believe NFL Street 3 may have been the last time. On that note, let's see how Wild Card Football... scores in this review. Let's jump in after getting some highlight coverage from... Chris Berman!

Fun Factor: When it comes to the fun factor, Wild Card Football is chock full of enjoyment for fans of football and gamers who enjoy variety in terms of gameplay. I word it that way, because not everyone is into sports, or football to be specific, but in Wild Card Football you get arcade action that breaks away from traditional rules. It's faster-paced, colorful, and as you've seen in the launch trailer above... things can get a little crazy on the field. You get to choose from teams that none of you will be familiar with because they're original to the game, but at the same time, you know who they are because the game features players that represent the NFLPA (National Football League Players Association). So you get access to players who have played in the NFL in both the past and present times.

The teams are named after the captains of those teams, like Team Cousins aka Kirk Cousins' team (which I actually know his dad), Team Mahomes (Patrick Mahomes' team), Team Prescott (Dak Prescott's team), Team Wilson (Russell Wilson's team), and many others. You have 32 teams in total for the fans and casual gamers alike to go nuts with alongside 150 wildcards.

I've played this game multiple times after the First 30 (seen below) because it's fun.

Gameplay: The gameplay may be football at its core, but it's engulfed in arcade flare and features stylized characters that represent the fun over-the-top nature of play. Wild Card Football features 7v7 teams of pro players going head to head in four quarters of arcade mayhem. You go beyond the standard football action by way of the wild cards that give you the ability to power up your team or select players, power down your opponents, trip up, and outsmart the competition as you use your cards strategically with your skills to pull off a win. I know a number of people who played Madden 95 faithfully back in the day, and I think the game would take them back in an all-new way. That was traditional, but I see the head-to-head arcade battle on the digital field, from the comfort of the couch, would be a blast from the past. It's hard to explain, but this is one of those types of games.

Brought to you by... Prime 21 Sunglasses + Travel 4 Less!

Before I move forward. I just want to point something out for those of you who play on PC. If you're only getting keyboard inputs... go to the little controller icon in Steam and click on it. I've circled it:

From there you will be brought to the "Wild Card Football Controller Settings" seen below. Choose the controller layout you see here, and you will be able to use your controller accordingly. Not everyone has run into this issue, but I did... so I hope this helps:

With all this game has to offer, I do see a missed opportunity here... that can still come by way of a future DLC. Coach Prime could be a featured coach in this game for a practice mode that gives players the ability to practice routes and try out different cards in their arsenal at a slower pace. Add a practice facility + blocking dummies, and have Deion school us on the game. From there it could've transitioned to the tutorial game... which can still be a bit fast for some gamers.

Replay Value: In terms of replay value, Wild Card Football delivers. Outside of the fact that you can play local and online games with friends and family, here are the gameplay modes you have:

Exhibition games deliver what most of you expect, a single game of football for fun.

Season mode delivers the full season experience utilizing your favorite team on the road to the championships if you're able to make it.

Dream Squad, which is your own customized dream team to take on the competition via Quick Game, the League (as you go for the championship ring), and Tour as seen in the gameplay above. You can customize your team's logo, gear, wild cards, celebrations, and all that good stuff. You're able to level up your squad too, which gives you the incentive to keep chipping away at them to make them even better. My team is the... Orlando Comets and you're also able to come up with any name you choose.

Before I jump into the wild cards, I also want to point out the Daily Challenges that further pump up the replay value of this game. You get different challenges that score you challenge points that in turn give you crates to unlock. These crates contain players, vanities, and wild cards... which we're about to get into right now.

The Wild Cards are the headliners of Wild Card Football, and as mentioned above, you have 150 to choose from. Some cards are labeled as rulebreakers because they can affect the other person's abilities, you have Modifiers that assist your team with plays and specials that can bring out your inner superhuman. Here are some of the cards I currently have in my collection: 

  • Expensive | Type: Rulebreakers | Defense & Offense Card | Energy Cost: 2

    Your opponent must spend an extra point for each Wild Card! This card would be activated in the next down.

  • Marksman | Type: Modifiers | Offense Card | Energy Cost: 3

    Increase your Team's Accuracy Stat by +50%.

  • Smash | Type: Specials | Offense Card | Energy Cost: 7

    Your player punches the ground creating a powerful shockwave. Unleash all your strength to toss nearby players away. Just be mindful that you have to activate this or it will go to waste, but sometimes you don't have time if the competition is that fierce.

  • Rascal | Type Rulebreakers | Offense Card | Energy Cost: 5

    Shuffle your opponent's hand on the next down.

  • Super Speed | Type: Modifiers | Offense Card | Energy Cost: 3

    Increase your Team's Speed Stat by +50%. This card has various types, which can apply to the team or a certain player's position on the squad.

  • Triple Electron | Type: Specials | Offense Card | Energy Cost: 6

    Protect yourself with three rotating orbs and shock anyone near you. Warning! The orbs are destroyed after use.

  • Shuffle | Type: Rulebreakers | Defense Card | Energy Cost: 3

    Your hand is shuffled on the next down.

  • Strongman | Type: Modifiers | Defense Card | Energy Cost: 3

    Increase your Team's Strength Stat by +50%.

  • Tarpits | Type: Specials | Defense Card | Energy Cost: 3

    Sticky pools everywhere! The offense will be slowed down if they step on them.

Other cards in my arsenal include... Turtle Speed, Boost Pads, Cloak Ball, Electron, Aimless, and Lazy. There are many to collect in this game, so you never know what's being thrown at you... and that's a beautiful thing in terms of competition. That sends that replay value through the room and with a game that plays as smooth as this, in a beloved genre... this is honestly worthy of being added to a gamer's collection. Of course, this would be great for the football fanatic and give them a change of pace game to enjoy when they aren't playing games like... Madden, but also the casual players who are looking for a change of pace.

Price: Pricewise, Wild Card Football comes in at... $39.99 for the Standard Edition, which is a really good price, especially if you want a more affordable option for a football game. This doesn't step on the toes of Madden and actually gets more people in on the game by way of all the fun additions.

There are 3 tiers in total, the Deluxe Edition is $59.99 and features the Base Game + Season Pass + Blazing Bones + 10 Card Packs. The season pass includes 3 future DLC packs with legacy players and cosmetic outfits.

The big daddy on the field is the Ultimate Edition for $69.99 and comes with the Base Game + Season Pass + Blazing Bones + 10 Card Packs + 10 Legendary Outfits. If you get these things separately from the standard version... you're looking at $49.99, so do the math and see what route you wish to take. The base game delivers the same gameplay for your single-player, online PvP, Split screen PvP, and cross-platform multiplayer enjoyment, so if that gives you the ability to game without breaking the budget... you will still have a great time.

Overall, Wild Card Football receives the score seen below because... It's an excellent example of a well-crafted game with a solid challenge, wild cards that keep things interesting, and a high replay value. The different pricing tiers make it accessible to many, and I have not experienced any bugs while playing it. Overall, this game delivers well, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and engaging arcade football game. Order some pizza + wings, and... fun it up!

Wild Card Football is available on Xbox | Playstation | Switch | Steam | Epic

Fun Factor 5

Gameplay 5

Replay Value 5

Price 5

5 out of 5 Cool Points