Are you one of those people whose favorite part of Madden is the strategy? You love building rosters and tweaking them, improving your team a little here and there and then utilizing your new direction in games? Are you tired of playing people online that either rage quit when you do well or spam play action slant passes to their tight ends again and again because you can’t cover it effectively? Well QuickHit has a solution for you that gives you what you want from the first while helping to do away with the second problem, and that’s the upcoming QuickHit Football.

The team at QuickHit (formerly Play Hard Sports) is made up of two very distinct groups of developers: part of the company has a rich history of developing football and other sports titles, while the other part of the company has a background in developing MMORPG’s. You may think that there’s no use for that MMO experience in a football title, but then you would be wrong, because QuickHit has shown that there is a good reason to have that setup in place. QuickHit Football is flash and browser based–you pick the plays, the game runs them for you. How is the level of skill between players determined then, if the computer is just going to run the plays you pick for you? Well first of all, picking the correct play is half the battle in any football title, but second, your team and its players are capable of leveling up. No, seriously. You earn experience points for completing certain plays and reaching certain goals, such as completing a game. Once you earn enough of these points, you can increase the skill points of your players and choose a direction for them to grow in. Do you want a pocket passer with an accurate arm, or are you more interested in a running quarterback? Do you want a running back that darts and weaves through the defensive line, or do you want a bruiser that plows right through everything in his path? You get to decide this, and you get to level them up–think of playing through games as very strategic and very rewarding form of level grinding.

The game doesn’t use actual NFL teams and player names, but you can customize your roster and use fake names, just like you would in an NCAA game. There are plenty of colors to choose from, though I think the game might need a few more logos in order to keep things mixed up.It is fast and simple though, so you can get right into a game after going through those few short registration screens.

Playing is as simple as picking from the recommended plays and hitting the space bar to hike the ball, but you can also be as in-depth and strategic as you want by filtering for running and passing plays, and then filtering further for the kind of distance you’re looking to get out of the play. Each play is graded (think A, B, C, etc.) for the situation that you are in, so you will know if you’re doing something crazy or not each time out. The play’s routes also shows themselves above the playbook on the field, so you don’t have to strain to see what you’re looking at. Bill Cowher is going to be the color commentator in the announcing booth, and he will also provide a sort of “Ask Coach” type of feature, where you can get assistance from someone who knows what they are talking about.

Games are short and fast paced, so you can play many of them without feeling like you’ve spent too much time at the website. This also allows you to upgrade your team quickly, and you will want to, as QuickHit, in its final form (the game is in Alpha now) will keep track of loads of statistics, including your overall won-loss record. If you don’t feel like playing a live opponent over the Internet (just go to the lobby to see people who are available for games) then you can also play against the AI.

The actual game design is strong, and the use of experience points to level up your team is something that intrigues me, so I’m excited to see how QuickHit takes shape as the game nears release. There are still some bugs and tweaks to be worked out of course, but that’s par for the course with any game at this stage in development. We’ll have more news for you on QuickHit Football as it releases, especially when word of the beta makes its way to us. For now, check out the screens as well as the video featuring the founder and CEO of QuickHit, Jeffrey Anderson, and sign up to create your team and reserve your coach name at QuickHit Football’s website.

About The Author

Marc Normandin was gaming editor of Blast from 2008 to mid-2010. You can reach him via e-mail at [email protected], or follow him on Twitter @Marc_Normandin

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