Before the Sony PSP and even games like PacMan were handheld games like Mattel Football or if you were lucky Coleco Quarterback. Both LED handheld sports games that back in the late 70’s would generate the kind of excitement seen by kids today who get a Wii. If you are looking to rekindle a bit of yesteryear or looking to brush up on your handheld video game history, you are in luck. LED Football for the iPhone is a remake of the old classic Mattel Football handheld.


Photo courtesy Handheld Museum


Gameplay is easy and it’s not surprising to find some whose video gaming skills were borne on games like Mattel Football struggling with today’s multi-button controllers found on the XBOX 360 or PS3. You won’t find any LR2 buttons in this game. Like the original Mattel Football, all you need is thumbs and this translates well on the iPhone. The response is very good and you don’t feel yourself missing the tactile response of hard buttons. Press the ST/K button and it’s game on.


In LED Football, you are perpetually on offense. The entire gameplay screen spans just 10 yards and standard football rules apply. Gain ten yards within the those four downs to get a fresh set of downs. Looking to stop you will be 5 defenseman. The LED defense will move left and right, while you aim to shook and jive down the field. Since the field is in 10 yard increments, you’ll be greeted by the defense even if you clear the field. There is something about this gameplay that makes playing LED Football a blast. If you enjoyed the original, you’ll enjoy the iPhone version.

The app is well designed. If you are looking for elaborate graphics, this is not your game. The design really captures the retro feel of the old handset. Part of the charm of LED Football is the creme color interface and flashing red led lights that jet you back to 1978. The developer has already released a follow-up LED Football 2 complete with passing. Could LED Hockey be too far off? Priced at $0.99, this game will appeal to those who remember the original Mattel Football and gamers who are looking for a simple, yet enjoyable retro gaming experience.


  • Spot on iPhone version of original
  • Design captures retro look and feel
  • Simple, yet addictive
  • Priced at just $0.99


  • Limited appeal to newer gamer’s looking for a more robust gaming experience


Manufacturer: Touchgrove

Price: $0.99

App Store Link: LED Football