Retro Bowl

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a game by New Star Games
Platform: Android (2020)
Editor Rating: 9/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 10.0/10 - 1 vote
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See also: Sport Games, Sports Management Games, Football Video Games, Owen Haley's Games
Retro Bowl
Retro Bowl
Retro Bowl
Retro Bowl

For less than it costs to buy a cup of coffee, Retro Bowl delivers some of the most fun and addictive mobile football gameplay available. Combining nostalgic retro graphics, simple controls, and strategic roster management, the game builds complexity layer by layer – keeping the experience fresh through multiple seasons. Despite not having official NFL licenses, Retro Bowl provides a lovingly-crafted fantasy of what it would be like to manage and coach an NFL franchise.

At its core, Retro Bowl is gridiron gaming stripped down to the basics. While some players might find this approach lacking, the truth is that the result is surprisingly hassle-free and enjoyable.

Retro Bowl Does Retro Right

Reminiscent of the classic football games of yesteryear, Retro Bowl utilizes nostalgic 16-bit graphics and simple controls to create a fun mobile football experience. The minimalist approach focuses on the fundamentals of the game itself, bringing to mind classics like Tecmo Bowl while introducing modern conveniences like multiple seasons and drafts.

If you ever wondered what a game like NFL 23 would have looked like on the NES, complete with the modern commodities we know and love, Retro Bowl is that game. Sure, it's still nowhere near the nuance of a pro football simulation, but it's plainly not aiming for that.

With Ease Comes Complexity

At first glance, Retro Bowl seems like an easy-to-pick-up mobile game. The basic controls allow you to simply tap a receiver to throw to them or drag the quarterback back to pass. However, as you progress through seasons, the challenge slowly increases.

Teams offer trades, free agents want more money, and players have to manage their morale. You must build your team through the draft while balancing the salary cap – introducing strategic complexity beneath the simple surface. The added layer of interactivity that the coaching simulator introduces comes as a welcome change of pace in between matches, that's for sure.

A Football Fantasy Come True

For fantasy football fans and NFL aficionados, Retro Bowl offers a somewhat realistic simulation of coaching an NFL team. While not officially licensed, divisions and playoffs mirror the real NFL. You face decisions around media interactions, player behaviors, and roster management throughout the season.

While the overall gameplay is a bit gimped by the fact that you only control the offensive, it makes sense in a game with the scope of Retro Bowl. For what it is, though, there's still plenty to rave about in this game beyond the pretty pixel graphics and the gripping coaching segments.

In summary, Retro Bowl successfully captures the joy of retro football gaming within a modern mobile experience. The simple controls and 16-bit graphics provide instant accessibility while progressive complexity and fantasy role-play elements keep the game interesting throughout multiple seasons.


It might look simple, but Retro Bowl is an amazing arcade throwback that harkens back to a time when games were just fun for the sake of being fun. And, sometimes, that's everything players want.


  • Charming retro visuals
  • Easy to grasp and even easier to master
  • Engaging coach mode spices up the action a bit


  • No official NFL licenses
  • Can be a bit barebones after a while

Download Retro Bowl


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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Android Screenshots

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