by Erik Johnsen
Atari’s Backyard Football ‘10 is one of the “Xbox 360 Family Games” that you’ll see on occasion at one of the big box stores. Maybe in the regular display with the bigger triple-A titles for a short time and then on to the clearance rack pretty soon thereafter. These games are meant to be fun for the family to get together and play. However, most of them fall short of this goal, and Backyard Football ‘10 is no exception.
Backyard Football ‘10 uses a limited NFL license and agreement with the NFL Players (association) to use some marquee players for the game such as Adrian Peterson, Peyton Manning, A.J. Hawk, and random “neighborhood” kids to fill out the ranks. All 32 NFL teams are represented in the game as well. This game is proudly touted as the “#1 Football Video Game for Kids.” I’ve never heard of another one, so if this is the only football game available to kids, that might have a lot to do with it.
The moves available are generally the same as any other football game. Jukes, spins, and sprinting are all part of the scheme. The mapping of these moves are a bit different than the big selling football games, and do take a little getting used to. Players move pretty slow and some of the animations during gameplay are downright poor. One example was when I ran a passing play, rolled out to the left and threw a deep ball to my receiver, while my quarterback was facing the opposite direction from where he was throwing the ball to.
Backyard Football ‘10 uses a 7-on-7 format and puts your games into a variety of venues. From the construction zone, to the courtyard of a castle, to the megadome stadium, BF ‘10 employs some imagination for game settings that kids might be attracted to.
The game play options range from Play Now, which just randomly assigns the teams, players and field for you to jump right in and play. Pickup Game allows you to choose your team, your players and where to play and then gets you into the game pretty quick.
There are also the Tournament Mode and the Season Game with sets you up with a 16 game schedule to play out. You can also practice at your whim, or set up an All-Star Game to play with all of the best players in the game together.
Play selection is a pretty standard format using X, A, and B to choose your play and the diagrams for the plays are pretty clear in their routes and the play development.
In the end, Backyard Football ‘10 wasn’t very much fun to play right in the beginning and progressively got worse from there. However, Xbox 360 achievement collectors can revel in the fact that a simple rental will net them with the 1,000 gamerscore points in 30 to 45 minutes.
Kids that don’t know a lot about football will unlikely find much in this game to keep them entertained, and adults may not be able to handle the “NFL players as kids” concept for too long.
A copy of this game was provided to TMG for the purposes of evaluation and review.
Married Gamers Rating: C-