As football season nears, GREE improves ‘NFL Shuffle’ — But can it be a hit game?



Last year Japanese mobile gaming company GREE (TYO:3632) introduces a football battle card game for the North American market called NFL Shuffle. Despite a few bugs in early iterations of the title, I quickly became a fan, and have enjoyed the game ever since.

Recently GREE announced an update that brought some interesting new elements into gameplay, leading up to the up the 2013 NFL season. A new “talents” feature has been introduced to certain players/cards, giving them special abilities that can be triggered at certain times in your game.

For example, in the picture below you can see a LeSean McCoy card added ability that can be triggered at key moments.

NFL Shuffle’s new ‘talents’ feature

While I have enjoyed the game so far, I think that it is sorely missing an element of skill – and perhaps this new variable can fix that. I have yet to pick up a card that has to new feature, but I’ll keep you posted and perhaps follow this up with a video review.

For me the early levels in season mode were painfully easy, and then when you reach “captain” level (particularly when you run up against the 49ers) the game becomes painfully difficult – almost impossible, unless you buy premium cards, which may be GREE’s intention. But for users who opt not to pay, it has left the game somewhat crippled, so I hope the new update remedies that [1].

This game is an intriguing port of the Japanese card battle model into a game genre that traditionally sticks to other formats. GREE’s MLB Full Deck is a similar effort for those who prefer baseball. I’m curious to hear from other players of NFL Shuffle to get your impressions of the game so far. Can GREE iterate it into a hit game as the 2013 season progresses? The company is still in search of its first real overseas hit, so we’ll have to wait and see how the year plays out.

Talents feature
talent activated!

  1. I count myself among that category of gamers who don’t want to pay for in-app purchases. Most of my iOS spending ends up (for better or worse) going towards productivity apps and text editors!  ↩