SNES A Day 141: Pro Quarterback


Approximate Release Date: December 31, 1992
Genre: Football simulation
Developer: Tradewest
Publisher: Tradewest

I’m struggling to find any positive qualities in Pro Quarterback.

If you want to evaluate the game on the basis of expected functionality for a football game, Pro Quarterback gets a failing grade. It can’t display all 24 players on the screen at once. Well, it kinda does. Players flicker in and out of existence like confused ghosts. Confused, ugly, poorly animated ghosts. Everything looks bad enough to negatively affect the enjoyment of the game. Try to follow where the ball is during running plays. If you can, you’ve got better eyes than I do because everything turns into a mass of flashing sprites. It’s not fun.

One weird omission is the lack of a coin toss at the beginning of each game to determine which team kicks and which team receives. Team one always gets the ball first. Why doesn’t Pro Quarterback have this? I have to assume that whatever reason it’s not in the game – laziness or incompetence – is the same problem the rest of the game has. I understand the missing NFL license is due to money, but getting a quarter’s likeness is cheap!

How many plays should a football game have? Modern football games have thousands available, but obviously, a Super Nintendo football game can’t store a ton of information with such tiny game cartridges. But Pro Quarterback‘s 20-ish plays on each side of the ball feels really limiting, even to someone who is a casual football fan. John Madden Football ’93 was much more reasonable in this regard. It would be forgivable if the game came together once the ball was snapped, but it doesn’t.

Why does Pro Quarterback exist? It’s terrible even by SNES football standards. I wish there was something here to point to and praise, but there’s not. Pro Quarterback should have been benched.

Tomorrow: If Push-over is another sports game I’m going throw something.

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