Those of you who know me know that on top of sports I’m actually a pretty big gamer as well and have been playing video games passionately since the late 1980’s. I’ve beaten every mainline 3d Mario Game, logged over 240 hours into Destiny on PS4, and consider myself to be an accomplished Madden online competitor. I can’t really complain about the quantity, quality, and visual fidelity of today’s games at all. However, if there’s one gaming itch I have that I’ve never been able to scratch, it’s for a really high quality CFL video game. There have definitely been times when I thought we were going to get something in this genre. Back in the 1998 a video game developer named David Winter obtained the rights to make a CFL game and I was pretty excited about it at the time. I waited for what seemed like forever, but when “CFL Football 99” finally released on the home computer it was nothing like what I had imagined. It was slow paced, had poor graphics (even for the time), and was nowhere near it’s NFL counterparts in terms of realism and artificial intelligence. I played it for a week or two and quickly moved onto more appealing experiences. Over the years there were often rumors and speculation that the CFL would fund a video game in an effort to market the CFL to the younger age demographic, but as it turned out nothing really ever came of it.
As somebody who so intently follows the CFL and Video Games I was stunned when a good friend of mine who doesn’t follow video games at all and only moderately follows the CFL asked me if I was any good at CFL Football Frenzy on mobile. I told him I didn’t even know it existed but that I would check it out as soon as I got the chance. I have to say, for what it is and after being burnt so badly by “CFL Football 99” on PC, “Football Frenzy” is actually a decent little time suck. I’ve probably put more hours into it than any previous mobile game save for “Fire Emblem Heroes”. Full disclosure, I’m not really into touchscreen/mobile gaming but I found that the controls in this game actually work reasonably well. Keep in mind this is a very simple version of football. If you’re looking to run a full franchise mode, draft and develop players, or compete with players online this isn’t going to be the football game for you. If you’ve ever played Madden Ultimate Team lets just say that Football Frenzy is a poor man’s version of that. You start with a deck of cards filled with low-level CFL players and as you win games you accumulate an in-game currency which eventually allows you to buy more packs of cards and earn better players for your team. I would say that my biggest disappointment is that once you’ve won the Grey Cup there really isn’t much to do other than keep grinding for more currency to upgrade your team. The problems is that there’s no reason other than personal satisfaction to upgrade your players at this point. Your team keeps getting better but the competition stays the same so the game gets easier and easier while you’re skills are getting better and better. It reaches a point very quickly where there’s not really much of a reason to keep going if you’re a person who loves a challenge.
Overall, it was fun for a while and I did get a kick out of trying to get my favorite players. If you have some free time and you love the CFL I would recommend trying out CFL Frenzy which is available on all major mobile devices. Just don’t expect it to replace the need to buy the latest version of Madden Football.