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Nintendo Switch’s first football game is the last one you’d expect

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A rare chance to discover the magic of 10-Yard Fight

The quarterback snaps the ball in the football classic 10-Yard Fight Irem/Hamster Corp.

The Nintendo Switch gets its first football game next week, but despite it being a classic, you’ve likely never heard its name. The game isn’t Madden, Tecmo Bowl or Mutant League Football — or should I say Mutant Football League? No, the first American football game to hit the Switch will instead be 10-Yard Fight.

Developed by the Japanese studio Irem and originally released in arcades in 1983, 10-Yard Fight offered players of that time a dramatically pared-down take on American football. The game featured nine players a side, instead of 11, which was still a more advanced rendition of the sport than was available in football games released on early home consoles.

Those who play 10-Yard Fight on Switch may be surprised to discover that the game doesn’t let the player select plays. The offense exclusively runs the option, with the player choosing between running with the quarterback, tossing to a running back or hurling to a receiver.

10-Yard Fight was ported to the NES in 1985, and console players gained the ability to play defense. The player selects between two defenders to run around the field, while the game handles the rest.

10-Yard Fight was last released in 1996 on PlayStation and Sega Saturn as part of the Irem Arcade Classics compilation. The Switch version is based on the game’s original arcade edition, and includes the two-player version released in 1984 as Vs. 10-Yard Fight. It is part of Nintendo’s ongoing Arcade Archives collection. 10-Yard Fight will be available on Nintendo Switch on May 2 for $7.99.