Backyard Football - GBA - Review

Backyard Football is a football game designed for pint-sized players. As in the other Backyard titles, kids can hand-pick their teams, or go with a random assortment of players. NFL stars are featured as kid players, along with fictional kids.

This is not a true football simulation, as for one thing, there are only seven players per team. There are also three difficulty settings which feature things like no fumbling or interceptions on the easiest level. This is a just-for-fun title for kids, and not meant to be a hard-core sim.

On startup, kids can choose either exhibition, season or practice modes. Exhibition means a pickup game, season is a whole season's worth of games, and practice is, of course, just practice. I would advise players who are not very familiar with the rules of football to begin with the practice mode. Once a team is chosen, plays can be picked from the play book. There is also a multiplayer mode for two players, each with a copy of the game.

The controls are easy to learn, with the L, R and A buttons used to throw the ball to other players, designated by the same letters as icons beside them on the field. Kick-off is set by the A button for direction and distance. The players run pretty slowly, so the action is easy to follow. The view is a side view, not behind the players.

The characters are drawn well and look cute on the field. The game is easy to see without excessive squinting and the backgrounds are bright and cheerful appearing. The crowd sounds that you would expect to hear are present.

This is a decent kids' sport title, one that is easy to play, but not quite as easy as the other Backyard titles, mostly because football itself is a trifle more complicated than soccer or baseball. Older kids won't get much from this game, because it has been simplified and is not meant to be an adult simulation. A fun game for small fans of football, but probably better for kids ages 7-12 that have some experience with the game and its rules.


Gameplay: 7.5
The game is fun enough for fans of football, but is so simplified that losing is pretty hard to do.

Graphics: 7 
Decent graphics.

Sound: 7
Sound effects that fit the ambience of football game. No loud, annoying music, yay!

Difficulty: Easy
An easy game, even on the hardest settings. Best for younger kids.

Concept: 8 
Having easy sports games for kids on the GBA is a good idea.

Overall: 7.6
A fun enough sports title for kids who are football fans. The gameplay is smooth and works like it's supposed to, with no strange surprises. The AI isn't very good, but young kids won't care about that.

Good

Gw
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