RealSports Football, a 1982 American football video game for the Atari 2600, features 15-minute games played on a standard 100-yard field. Each team has five players, with no kickoffs. On offense, there’s a quarterback, a flanker, and three linemen (center and two guards), with the user controlling the ball carrier. The defensive team consists of two linemen, two cornerbacks, and one linebacker, which the user controls.
Offensive play options include passing left, passing right, running, or kicking. The game lacks handoffs and running backs, but quarterbacks can scramble. After selecting a play, the user snaps the ball by pressing the joystick button. When passing, control shifts to the receiver once the quarterback releases the ball. The joystick button is used for passing or kicking and moving the joystick navigates the field.
Kicking doesn’t distinguish between punts and field goals. There are no kick returns; the opponent starts where the ball lands unless it enters the end zone or counts as a field goal, in which case play starts at the 20-yard line.
Defensive options include full-out blitz, left cornerback cover, right cornerback cover, and prevent (both cornerbacks deep). The game incorporates interceptions, but play stops upon interception, and possession is transferred.
Touchdowns score seven points, field goals three, and safeties two. After scoring, the opposing team starts at their 20-yard line. The scoreboard displays up to 99 points per team, but reaching this score doesn’t end the game.
Novice and Expert switches impact player speed and the human-controlled receiver’s catching ability.