Superbowl 50 – American football tabletop games

It’s Superbowl 50 today (Monday in Australia and Sunday night in the USA), so to celebrate we thought we’d look at a few NFL / American football / gridiron games you can play right on your own tabletop. Now NFL isn’t huge here in Australia, sure there are local clubs, but of the few we’ve attended, the only people showing up are the players and a few family members (sadly). In the USA of course it is one of the huge sports there, here we have rugby and AFL, both just as athletic, both with no padding.

If you fancy looking at some NFL board games / tabletop games, we’ve got you covered with a few the team have played over the years. Check them out below and let us know if you’ve played any of them yourselves.

Challenge Football
Back when Avalon Hill were big into board games (and RPG’s) comes “Challenge Football”. An action selection game “Challenge Football” sees players take on the role of coaches in an American football / gridiron game. Needless to say this is an old game (1972 to be precise), so you’re only going to get it on eBay or in a thrift find. It’s a 2-player only game and we’re sad to say, it hasn’t aged well in looks, but is still better than some of the other NFL style tabletop games in playability.

Monday Night Football
Another game from the 1970s is “Monday Night Football” from Aurora. This is one of those tabletop games that had an electronic game gimmick element, it’s pretty cool if you’re into your retro games. This is not to be confused with “ABC Monday Night Football” which also got a release in the 70s, though that was via Mattel. Both games feature an electronic aspect to them.

NFL Showdown
First released in 2002, “NFL Showdown” is a 2-player game in similar ilk to “MLB Showdown”. Players use their cards with a swipe card reader, which sounds way more impressive than it actually is in practice. This is essentially a CCG selling tool from the games publisher Wizards of the Coast (ahh there it is). We didn’t enjoy this one at all, even our retro collector got rid of his copy, but hey, maybe you will.

NFL Strategy
Probably the best of a bad bunch of earlier NFL tabletop games comes “NFL Strategy” from Tudor Games. This one got numerous releases in the 70s, each one making the interactive board a little better. Players secretly choose their plays and a dice roll determines the result of play. Not too bad this one, if you’re a retro gamer, this might be worth an import (if you’re outside the USA).

NFL Rush Zone
One of the more modern NFL board games is “NFL Rush Zone” from Toy Island. A two to six player game, “NFL Rush Zone” is essentially a family game of NFL action with a dice rolling mechanism at its heart. Needless to say, this one looks better than the others mentioned so far because it only came out in 2013. One to check out if you’re an NFL fan.

NFL Rush Zone American Football tabletop game - Gameapalooza does American football board gamesNFL Rush Zone, looks better because, well, newer.

NFL Game Day
This one is our pick if you’re only going to get one NFL board game. “NFL Game Day” from Fremont Die is a hand management game that sees players take on the roles of coaches in an NFL game. As board games go overall, this isn’t one you’d play a lot unless you love NFL, but it does a fairly good job of approximating the offensive and defensive plays of the game.

We hope you’ve liked this brief look at NFL board games in celebration of Superbowl 50. Sure we know we’re an Australian game site and we know NFL isn’t a big deal here in the land down under, but this is the Super Bowl, and even if you’re not watching for the game itself, admit it, you’re probably going to watch the halftime show, or youtube those commercials when it’s all said and done.

Go Panthers… err.. Broncos… no wait.. Panthers… may some animal or another be victorious.