10-Yard Fight

Developer: Irem

Publisher: Irem

Composer: Ichiro Takagi

Release: 1983

Unknown

 

Drop your socks and grab your jocks! Wait, is that right? Never mind, it’s time to hit the gridiron in 10-Yard Fight!

I’ll *ahem* kick off the review with the title screen, which is nothing special and even lacks music, but does present the option for one or two players. I only tried the one-player version because I’m a loser who has no friends. 😦

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The lack of music stated is a recurring theme throughout the game; there’s mostly ticking noises to denote player movement and the classic static-y crowd noise of most early sports games.

There are five difficulty levels: high school, college, professional, playoffs, and Super Bowl. I lost the first high school game I played because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, but after that it was smooth sailing until the Super Bowl. After a game ends you automatically progress to the next level if you win.

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On offense you are limited to screen passes to the left or right, or hitting a receiver who actually goes in motion behind the line of scrimmage before you snap the ball. Another neat feature is that you can perform a good ol’ halfback pass if you pitch the ball to one of your RBs first. It seems like once a player with the ball crosses the line of scrimmage you can’t throw forward, which makes sense, but it also appears there’s a time limit before you just automatically become a runner.

Once you commit to running, you can cut back and forth to avoid diving tackles, and wiggle the d-pad left and right to “shake off” would-be tacklers. Again, this is a pretty cool feature for such and early football game. It’s pretty hard not to pick up 5 yards a pop just screen passing though, and my INT to completion ratio when passing to the WR was abysmal.

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On defense you get to choose between two players before the snap, with the computer usually taking FOREVER to hike the ball. You can’t switch defenders during the play which is a bummer, but the one you control has good recovery, and I found my AI teammates were usually up to the challenge of making rudimentary tackles. All my interceptions on defense over 5 games played were actually performed by the computer. Making a tackle usually requires diving at the man with the ball, otherwise you run right through him most times.

As for special teams, each half begins with a kickoff, as well as post scoring plays. It’s hard not to start near midfield, or have the computer start there, after a kick. The computer punted a few times on fourth down, and kicked a couple of field goals. Punts are sadly not returnable; you just get the ball where it lands. Any time I had a fourth down it immediately went into the normal formation; maybe I’m missing on how to select kicking instead of going for the first down.

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Overall I was impressed with 10-Yard Fight. I didn’t go in expecting much, but for such an old game I genuinely had fun with it. Running is a bit too easy and passing a bit too hard, and I wish you could switch players on D. The special teams play is lacking, but that’s not a dealbreaker. If you’re looking for a quick and easy football video game, 10-Yard Fight fits the bill.

4.0/5

Check out my playthrough on twitch!

 

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