Say what you will about Gameloft, but their games are generally of high quality. Sure, they kind of take other people’s ideas and make them their own, but they do it in a way that exudes quality. Other than Chair, they are the most prolific company at putting out high quality, beautiful looking games on the iPhone and iPad. They have top quality shooters, action, strategy and even sports games.
Recently, Gameloft has started experimenting with releasing free games that feature in-app purchases. Over the second half of 2011, they put out two top quality sports games, and they are free to play. You can expand on the game with in-app purchasing, but you can still have a great time playing the games without ever opening your wallet. With Real Soccer 2012 and NFL Pro 2012, you can get amazing sports games with beautiful graphics, on your iPhone or iPad for free.
The first thing you will notice is that Gameloft has the NFL license for this game. This is a big deal because Electronic Arts has had the exclusive on the NFL for years. When you first boot up the game it will ask you for a favorite team, and it will have you choose a name and create an icon. Then it will throw you right into the tutorial. Once you complete the tutorial, you will be ready to play some football.
Playing the game uses energy points. You will run out of these, but you can buy more in the store. You accumulate more over time, so you can play without ever making a purchase, you just will not be able to play constantly.
Calling plays requires in-game credits, which can be earned through the tutorial and by playing games, or purchased through the in-app store. Once you call a play, the act of playing football in this game is surprisingly good. The graphics look amazing, and the game is easy to control. If you are a fan of American football, there is no reason not to take this game for a spin.
(This game is also available on, but my tests were on iPhone).
Real Soccer is another Gameloft sports game that works off the “freemium” model, just like NFL Pro. When you first open the game, you will see a cool screen that shows you the latest happenings in the soccer world. That is the real soccer world, not what is happening in the video game. In the top left corner you will see a button labeled “Play.” Click that to play some footy.
Playing the game feels great, and there is not as many attempted up-sells as NFL Pro. The controls feel tight, and easy to use. On top of playing well, the visuals are gorgeous. It is hard to believe that a free game packs such a visual punch.
There is still plenty to buy in the game if you should so choose. You can buy new balls, stadiums, players and more. You use in-game currency to buy these items. You earn it slowly just by playing, but you can buy it to get more quickly. The game has so many features it is really impressive. Go on your phone and download the free game if you are remotely interested in soccer.
If you like football, either American or international, you should check out these free Gameloft games. I suppose the free needs to be in quotes, because they are trying to sell you in-game purchases. Still, the fact is, you can have a lot of fun with both of these games without spending anything. Both of these games are fun, and a great way to kill some time with your iPhone or iPad.
What are your favorite iPhone sports games? Let us know in the comments!