For those who wanted a taste of the strategic side of football before they were old enough to actually manage a team of players on the field, came an ingenious way to learn the skills necessary to carry your very own clipboard someday as an offensive/defensive coordinator or head coach. Foto-Electric Football provided all the training you needed – *Bucket of Gatorade not included. Today, we take a look back at this memorable game from yesteryear.
Before the introduction of Foto-Electric Football, budding coaches had to rely on 1936’s Scientific Football to learn the cerebral intricacies of the game. A company Cadaco came up with a less lofty approach in the 40s, having already cut their teeth on other football related strategy games such as Varsity and Touchdown. Foto-Electric Football was the culmination of their previous efforts, a game that introduced players to the brainier side of the game.
Using a set of see-through overlay cards, opposing players called a series of plays, 12 on offense and 6 on defense. To see if their play calling efforts were successful, the magic of electricity took over, as a small light bulb illuminated the results, assisted by the handy “Foto-Electric Football Chart” and a set of three dice.
Following standard rules of American football, the game allowed a total of 30 plays per quarter, rather than utilizing a clock. All the necessary information about downs, plays left in the quarter, and, of course, the score, were tracked by a set of plastic dials. To keep track of where you were on the field, a handy little football kept track of the progress.
Over the next few decades, numerous updated versions of Foto-Electric Football were introduced, notably the “Hall of Fame” versions but none could fend off the eventual replacement by hand-held electronic games such as the iconic Mattel Electronic Football that every young fan of the game carried with him through the late 70s. Shortly after that, the home video game craze would be the preferred method of learning essential football strategy from the comforts of home – and putting it to the test in ways that the old-time fans of Foto-Electric Football could have never imagined.
Have you played Foto-Electric Football? Do you still own the game? Share your experiences and memories with us in our comments section, as we remember this popular game from decades past, here at Retroland.