Tecmo Bowl (universe)

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Tecmo Bowl is a series of football-themed video games developed by Tecmo. The games are notable because the designers took liberties with the sport resulting in something that is closer to a video game than a simulation. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Tecmo Bowl games were the most popular football video games on the market, not just because they are good games, but also because they were licensed by the NFL and had real teams and player names. In the mid-1990s, players began to appreciate games that more closely simulated the actual sport, and the Tecmo Bowl series waned in popularity.

One of the video game mechanics used in most Tecmo Bowl games is a graduating difficulty for the AI based on how far along in the season you are. Each individual player has a set base level of stats, but there is also a difficulty modifier that increases throughout the season making your opponents faster and stronger. This isn't quite a dynamic difficulty because it's pre-defined, but it's pretty close.


If I recall correctly, my first experience with Tecmo Bowl was from my step-brothers bringing the game over when they came to visit from Illinois. Both they and my brother loved football and video games, so it was only natural they would adore Tecmo Bowl. My brother got the game for himself and frequently bugged me to play it with him. At almost four years his junior, and with little interest in football, he always beat me, so I rarely wanted to play the game with him. My step-brother bought Tecmo Super Bowl right after it came out, and the next time he visited, my brother and he locked me out of his room they could play it all night without me watching and offering commentary. My cousin, with whom I spent most of my time gaming with, was also really into football and spent countless hours playing Tecmo Super Bowl as well. When the SNES version of Tecmo Super Bowl came out, my friend Kevin rented it, and I watched him play a bit of it. I was very impressed by the weather conditions, but, otherwise, I didn't care much for it. I haven't played any of the recent games.

As a child, I liked playing football recreationally with my friends, but all the goading to play the game with multiple friends and family caused me to loath the video games. Many years after anyone had urged me to play, I sat down and played the two NES games for fun, and beat both of them. Although I was frequently frustrated at the idiotic AI of me teammates, I found them both quite enjoyable and solidly well-constructed games.


Video Games

Released Title Platforms
1987-12-?? Tecmo Bowl Arcade
1989-02-?? Tecmo Bowl Game Boy, PlayChoice-10, NES
1991-12-13 Tecmo Super Bowl NES
1993-11-23 Tecmo Super Bowl Genesis, SNES
1994-12-20 Tecmo Super Bowl II: Special Edition Genesis, SNES
1995-12-22 Tecmo Super Bowl III: Final Edition Genesis, SNES
2008-11-18 Tecmo Bowl Kickoff Nintendo DS
2010-04-28 Tecmo Bowl Throwback PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Related Games



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