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Football: The Kotaku Review

Monday, February 4, 2013

Category: Sports

Where Football excels over its spiritual predecessors is the implementation of the "system of downs" feature—which we touched on briefly above. Breaking up a "drive" toward a "touchdown" into four-part mini-battles, adding chances for continues and resets to "first down" for highly successful plays really helps funnel the juice of the strategy into a meatier game.

Football goes one magnitude deeper by implementing elements of a turn-based rugbylike with "the huddle": between downs, the coach relays play formations to the quarterback, who then takes the play to the rest of the team. In a secret on-field meeting called a "huddle," the quarterback communicates the play to the rest of the team. They have forty seconds to decide their play, line up, and prepare for "the snap." (Taking longer than forty seconds earns a "delay of game" penalty.)

One player on the offense, known as the "center," is in control of the start of the play. When the quarterback shouts "set," all players on the field must stand still for one second. When one second—or more, if the offense wants to hammer in suspense—has passed, the center "snaps" the ball to the player behind him. Now the game is officially being played: the center class-changes in an instant, and is now a blocker.

The game has switched from turn-based mode to real-time mode in a heartbeat.

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