Football is quickly becoming America’s number one pastime and the need for more accessible games for the younger demographic are a must. The Backyard Football series has always been a popular alternative for those not wanting to deal with the complexities of the sport. The latest version offers up some solid gameplay wrapped in an overly simplistic package that is definitely aimed at gamers not at all familiar with complex control schemes. If you have a five year old who loves winging the ball as Tom Brady, Backyard Football 2010 may just be worth your time.
The game is broken down into your typical modes such as quick game, season and Pro Bowl. Outside of a few stadiums there really isn’t much to unlock so for the most part what you see, is what you get. All 32 of the teams are present but only about one player from each team is available for you to play with. The rest of your team is filled with the traditional generic players with names like Bob and Derek. Surprisingly unlike some of the other Backyard sports games there are no girls to be found here. I guess they did not want to give off the violence against women vibe, but in that case perhaps they should have toned down the violence a bit.
The gameplay is about as simple as you can get. The A button does nearly everything from hiking the ball to throwing (there are no separate buttons for receivers) to of course tackling. Instead of confusing younger players by flashing a plethora of button options for you to throw to all you have to do is aim the analog stick and tap A. This will throw to the receiver in that direction. You also have access to some power-up moves when you fill your meter that will do things such as speed burst, let you knock down defenders, or my personal favorite the homing tackle.
Amazingly the simplicity is also the game’s biggest drawback. There simply isn’t much here to keep you occupied after a few games. For extremely young kids this works out great. They can lob the ball down the field, score easy touchdowns and feel accomplished. However, when they start to get better at the game there really is not increase in challenge or options. The game just runs through the motions over and over. I might be harsher on this aspect if the game wasn’t a bit on the cheaper side and chock full of charm, but it is something you might want to consider.
Visually the game looks like you would expect a Backyard sports game to look. The fields are modeled after themes such as a field between buildings in the city, a holiday theme among many others. The character models are cartoony but charming, and seeing Carson Palmer or Tom Brady chase someone down on defense is definitely a sight for football fans. The commentary is cute at first, but it repeats too often and you will likely not even get through one game before hearing a line over and over. The music is absolutely atrocious, but again this game is designed for younger kids so they are likely to not even notice it is there.
Backyard Football 2010 is a good game for young children who love the idea of football. It is simple, easy to pick up and really well designed. If you have a young one who loves the sport and you want to give them a chance to play, this is a solid purchase. Be aware though that this is aimed at extremely young kids. With how fast they pick up on this stuff the overly simplified controls and non-existent difficulty could be an issue.