Retro Coin Op Synopsis
Despite the somewhat deceptive title, you had to cover a large chunk of field if you wanted to crack the high scorers’ list on 10 Yard Fight. The Taito game put you right in the pocket as quarterback of your own football team, struggling to get upfield and score before time ran out.
Starting at a “High School” level, each game of 10 Yard Fight began with a kickoff from the opposing team. If you weren’t able to return it for a touchdown (and almost no one ever did), your offense settled in for a yard-by-yard fight. As quarterback, you had the option of either running the ball yourself or throwing a forward or sideways pass (each passing option had its own button). A pass could net you more ground, but be warned: an interception would set you back 20 yards with the clock still ticking down. Following traditional rules, you could stop the clock by running the ball out of bounds.
If you did manage to score a touchdown, you were given the opportunity to either kick the point after or try for a two-point conversion. Either way (and even if you were unsuccessful), it was time to move up to the next level. After decimating the high school ranks, your squad moved on to “College,” “Pro,” and finally “Super Bowl.” Beat them all, and legions of arcade sportsmen would bow at your feet.
While it certainly didn’t have the complexity of later football games like John Elway’s Team Quarterback or High Impact Football, 10 Yard Fight was an important step toward gridiron greatness. And by focusing solely on quarterbacking and running skills, Taito delivered all of the flash of offense with none of the crushing bruises of defense.