Ahh football, the sport of kings (or was that Horseshoes?). Since the dawn of the videogame industry every system has had at least one football game, and the 7800 is no exception. While the 2600 was graced with four football games, the 7800 only had one during its short lifespan (or five if you count the fact that the 7800 can play 2600 games). So how does the 7800's entry stack up? Not so well...
Much like Super Football on the 2600, Touchdown Football features a scrolling playfield which really adds a touch of realism to an otherwise drab football simulation. The players are really tiny, but decently colored (no more mono-colored sprites). Everyone's favorite Blue team is back for another season, but it looks like Imagineering decided to retire the Red team and replace them with the Black team. Although no matter how you color them, the graphics in Touchdown Football just plain suck. Even the 10 Yard Fight on the NES had better looking players than this!
So once you get past the poor graphics you find some great gameplay right? Wrong! The programmers for this game seem to have ignored most of the rules of football and dumbed down the rest. Tired of those annoying running plays that seem to endlessly bog down real football games? Don't worry, Touchdown Football removes the running back, making almost all running plays impossible (although you can do a quarterback sneak). The game usually boils down to the quarterback throwing a bunch of passes that fail to go even 10 yards. Enjoy kicking field goals or extra points? Forget about it! The computer automatically kicks them for you, and often misses even at close range! Thankfully the computer is so stupid that it never puts up a decent challenge, allowing for even the most unskilled player to win easily.
Well the graphics and gameplay may stink, but I bet there are some great sounds in the game right? Nope! Like most 7800 games, Touchdown Football seems to be devoid of almost all sound except for some crowd noise which could easily be mistaken for static. Sousa's classic march "The Liberty Bell" plays during the kickoff, but after that there's nothing. Every now and then some creepy sounding anthem will play, but you'll pray that those times come few and far between.
With small characters, poor sound, and laughable gameplay, Touchdown Football proves that Atari was never a sports powerhouse. It almost seems as if this title was pushed out the door just to provide filler in the 7800's sports lineup (or lack thereof). Surely the 7800 was capable of better than poor efforts like this. If you must play football on your 7800, stick with the 2600's Super Football instead of this stinker. You'll be oh so happy you did.