Tecmo Super Bowl was the followup to the successful Tecmo Bowl. The format roughly follows a standard game of American football, where each team has 11 players and attempts to move the ball into the opponent's end zone by using a combination of running and throwing the ball. Between possessions, the teams switch sides and the player takes on the opposite role of attempting to keep the opponent from scoring in their end zone.
Tecmo Super Bowl does not depart much from Tecmo Bowl's formula, but rather focuses on perfecting the system already laid down.
Additional play mechanics include Most significantly, playbooks are expanded from four plays to eight, allowing each team to double their selection of plays before each snap. Additionally, before the game, players can customize their team's playbook to better fit their play style and team's strengths. If the defense picks the same play as the offense, they will likely cause the offensive team to lose yardage or turn over the ball, but with more plays to choose from, the likelihood of the defense picking the right play is significantly reduced. Additional new mechanics include the ability to substitute players, varying conditions of players, fumbles, and player injuries.
Place kicking is modified significantly by adding the option to perform an "onside kick." By putting very little force behind the kickoff, the kicking team can attempt to steal the ball away from the receiving team, with the risk that the receiving team will have excellent field position if they manage to hold onto the ball. Additionally, players do not control how hard the kicker kicks during extra point attempts and field goals. Rather, an arrow moves back and forth to determine if the kick will be on target, as opposed to wide right or left.
While Tecmo Bowl had all of the players from the National Football League, they did not have the license to use the NFL team names. With Tecmo Super Bowl, they've added the NFL team license, allowing them to use team names and colors, and the actual NFL schedule from the year appropriate to when the game came out. Some players though, like Jim Kelly, only appear as "QB Bills." Additionally, after the regular season, players that make the playoffs will then play playoff games, including conference championship games, in an attempt to get to and win the Super Bowl and take home the title of NFL Champion. One of the biggest improvements to scheduling is that players can take control of multiple teams, skip any game that they're not interested in, or let the computer play out the season for them. This feature has been copied in many football games that have come out since Tecmo Super Bowl.
A Pro Bowl option was also added to Tecmo Super Bowl. This option is a feature which allows users/players to fill out All-Star rosters with whichever players they choose for both the AFC (American Football Conference) and the NFC (National Football Conference) and have them play the actual All-Star game; the Pro Bowl.
Cult following and legacy
- In Tecmo Super Bowl tournaments, it is common to make the Buffalo Bills and L.A. Raiders off limits since both Thurman Thomas and Bo Jackson are so overpowered, they can essentially break the game because they are so fast.
- Tecmo Bowl tournaments still exist today, with people hacking the game and modifying teams to fit modern expansion teams with full rosters and updated logos. The most prolific tournament takes place in Madison, WI and will feature 72 players in 2010 to accommodate for its increased popularity.
- Tecmo Super Bowl has been adorned on many "Best Video Games of All Time" lists. These lists include a Top 100 ranking from both Electronic Gaming Monthly and IGN.