If you grew up in an era when LED games were cutting edge technology, then LED Football 2 may hold some nostalgia for you. Like its predecessors, LED Football and LED Basketball, it is a fairly accurate representation of the handheld LED sports game that were among the first handheld entertainment devices. The reproduction of what the original game looked like is quite accurate — including a back side that has instructions and a slot for virtual batteries. LED Football 2 seeks to build on the previous version by adding on some extra features.
However, even when you set aside the “wow” factor there is underneath a fairly addicting, albeit simple, game. There is a bit of a learning curve as to how to play given that the players consist of a series of LED lights. The goal is to maneuver your players around the opponents to score a touchdown or field goal.
The downs, field position, and score are kept on the bottom portion of the screen. Therefore if you make it through to the endzone it does not necessarily mean you scored a touchdown – the game calculates your yardage in comparison with a 100-yard field. The key to success is generally to wait for the defenders to move around, and then charge through when an opening develops. Watch out for an interception. When turning the ball over through a turnover or on downs it means points for the computer opponent.
In this version, you can now thow a pass and go backwards when running. To pass, look for the blinking downfield LED light and then press the “pass” button if no defender is in the way. However, don’t expect that to be too often. I found myself spending most downs charging downfield and running for it. Also, while the option to go back was nice for some reason I found the four directional buttons less responsive than the original version.
The option to punt and kick a field goal are quite clever. On fourth down once play starts you press the “kick” button and send the ball downfield. If the ball goes through the crossbars then three points are added to your score.
LED Football 2 also offers a two-player option if you feel the need to challenge a friend. Once player one scores or punts, then the action commences the opposite direction with player two at the helm. Even with the lack of actual graphics or being able to play defense, LED Football 2 should entertain and make us glad we live in an era of the iPhone 3G and high-definition console gaming.