Madden NFL Superstars

Common Sense Media says

Facebook football game -- look out for hidden fees.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

There is a strict set of rules that players must adhere to, and training your team members is key to success. While certainly not a "message game," its overall feel and viewpoint is a positive one. 

Positive role models

You don't need to worry about any condescending attitudes here. The overall tone is respectful.

Ease of play

NFL Superstars uses a well-made tutorial feature to familiarize the player with the basic elements of the game. There are some nuances that will take time to fully understand and get comfortable with, but generally it is easy to jump in and play.

Violence

While football is a violent sport, Madden NFL Superstars has no real animations and uses still pictures to depict actions in the game.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

The game does not feature much in terms of voices and most of the audio is comprised of music.

Consumerism

While the game is free to play, players are offered the chance to buy -- with real-world money -- game bonuses that will aid in their success. These include the ability to buy top players early on -- so you won't have to spend the time training them. You also need to spend real money if you want to play any more than the limited number of games the app allows you each day. The game has a strong tie-in with the NFL and even has a weekly element in which players predict the outcome of real NFL games. Doing so correctly helps earn in-game points.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Madden NFL Superstars is an online, browser-based game that plays on Facebook. It allows gamers to buy packets of players with real-world money if they don't have the patience to work through the game to earn the packets with in-game currency. Gamers take to the gridiron against teams created by other gamers, but there is no real interaction between players and the competition is not live. It's also important to know that there is a finite number of games that can be played in a day for free. If you want to play more games beyond that amount, you need to buy into them with real-world money. Parents should also be aware that kids can earn in-game money by correctly predicting the winners of real-world NFL games each week. 

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What's it about?

MADDEN NFL SUPERSTARS puts players in charge of a fictitious NFL team that features real-world players. This is a game that relies on statistics for the most part, but players can use the limited supply of Gamebreaker bonuses to change the momentum. Teams must be trained before they work through seasons, earning points and coins, which can be used to buy better players and move up through the leagues. There is also a fantasy football element in which players can pick the winners of the real NFL schedule to earn bonus coins.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

While seemingly simple, Madden NFL Superstars has a decent amount of depth. It is certainly challenging -- sometimes even a touch frustrating. Players have to keep their teams well-trained, because the virtual athletes' training points expire after a time. This is a bit insidious in that, to continue to be good, the game must be visited frequently. Still, there are several elements, such as balancing practice time and income with time spent actually playing against other players that make this a fun app. (Note that two-player games are not live, and you never need interact with your opponent directly.) The game should be a very nice Facebook fit for NFL fans.

Online interaction: You can play against other people's teams, but these games aren't live, and you have no direct interaction with your opponent during these match-ups. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the value of proper training in order to improve a team, and how one player may be good, but it takes a team to win.

  • It would also be wise for families to discuss how careful people must be when using a social network like Facebook.

  • This game can also serve as a good example of how a game may appear to be free, but there are really micro-transaction elements in place that will cost players money.

Game details

Platforms:Facebook
Available online?Not available online
Developer:EA Sports
Release date:August 31, 2010
Genre:Sports
Topics:Sports and martial arts
ESRB rating:E for no descriptors (Facebook)

This review of Madden NFL Superstars was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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