|Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff|
North American box art
The gameplay is almost identical to that of its predecessors. It is a 2D sidescrolling football game with a top-down view. Plays are selected from a playbook prior to being played out, using a combination of the directional pad and either the A or B button. Only the offensive playbook is visible. The playbook, which provides the primary plays, cannot be altered. A menu is provided with choices such as special teams plays and timeouts.
Various features that were absent from the original games are also nonexistent in this game. Examples include "taking the knee", spiking the ball, and penalties. Touchbacks are possible, however, much like in the SNES version.
Coin tosses are completely random, much like the previous games. Each team chooses whether to kick or receive. Kickoffs and punts have a power meter, where the more it fills up the farther the ball will go. Field goals and extra points have an accuracy meter, which moves left or right of the goalpost.
New to the series is Quick Play, a randomly created game rather than exhibition mode in which you choose the teams.
The visuals are almost identical to its predecessors. The game is 8-bit with all the graphics of the previous games. The endzones are blank, somewhat reflecting the original TECMO endzones.
Graphics are provided for various things such as key plays, injuries, and first down checks. These graphics resemble those of the SNES version.
Similar to the previous games, a halftime performance is provided for each game. An actual show is displayed rather than a graphic on the jumbotron, accompanied by an indicator that it is time for the halftime show.
Much like its predecessors, the clock is defaultly set to 5:00 for season games. Much like the SNES game, however, exhibition and Pro Bowl games can have the clock set for up to 15:00. Much to the tradition of the series, the clock is accelerated. The clock is stopped after each play.
New to the series is customizable teams. These fictional teams, which replace the actual teams, can have their locations, names, and abbreviations changed. Divisions cannot be altered, however. Strangely, the New York Giants were replaced with a team from Los Angeles. The players themselves are also fictional. The teams and players are fictional due to EA Sports owning the rights to all professional sports games.
Also new is online play via WiFi.
The audio, while having many of the same quotes throughout the game, has been updated.
Simulated games in season mode are the same as in the previous games, with the matchup shown first, then the quickly simulated scoreboard, then the recap.
Weather cannot be customized directly at the start of the game, much like the NES versions.
An actual two minute warning announcement replaces the sound effect of the previous game.
Much like the previous games, the crowd cheers after any touchdown regardless of team.
Turnovers are referred to as such, having been called "side change" in past games. "Side change" is now used to refer to the change of direction after the first and third quarters.