NES Collection #001: 10-Yard Fight Review

I’m not the biggest sports person, and for a while I considered skipping this title because it’s an American football game, and I’m not American. I decided to stick with it, and it was an interesting experience.

Game: 10-Yard Fight
Platforms: Arcade, NES
Price: They go for around $6 on eBay, but there were some more expensive versions when I looked.

10-Yard Fight is one of the most simple sports games I have ever played: it wouldn’t be out of place on mobile devices today. The gameplay is simple; your player starts in a formation, running a ball up the field until your character gets tackled, at which point the first of the tackle (“downs”) begins. After this, your character then has four “downs” to move the ball up another 10 yards, or you can kick the ball to move the ball further back. An interception, a ball kick, or a lack of 10-Yard movement results in a turnover, and the opposition attempts to run the ball past your defences. To defend, you choose from one of two characters, and then run forward to tackle the CPU character in possession of the ball. It may not sound simple from my description here, but it lacks plays or other advanced strategies that irked a lot of other reviewers when I did my reading for this game.

The game has a basic career mode, starting at a high school level and progressing towards the super bowl. Each higher level of difficulty results in a slightly tougher AI, but I found that as I experienced the game, the AI became a pushover, and I was able to defeat the computer every time (eventually winning the super bowl 28-7). Once you defeat the super bowl, you just play it over and over again – there’s no high score system or anything else I know of.

The design is nothing special; the graphics average; music non-existent. The sound effects that do exist are the pattering of feet on the ground (which admittedly, is a decent tune, but doesn’t last long), a slide-whistle for the ball kick, and a awful chord of noise, which I presume is meant to applause from an audience. The most awful aspect of the game, however, is how slow it is; it takes forever to move anywhere on the field, and running forward feels like wading through a swamp.

I also found some graphical glitches in that players would sometimes fade towards the end of the field, which was a little distracting.

Although this game as its flaws, there were a few moments where my heart beat slightly faster in the excitement of it all, and for an early NES game, that’s a pretty good accomplishment. I give 10-Yard Fight a 2/5 objectively, and a 2.5/5 subjectively.


+ Encapsulates the feeling of sports well

+ A simple design means anyone, even non-Americans, can play it.



– Graphics are nothing special

– Sound isn’t good

– Simple AI

– Slow movement


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