Game Reviews

Backbreaker Football

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Backbreaker Football

Left, right, twist, show-boat! Backbreaker Football is the most unlikely dance-rhythm game you'll ever play.

It's hidden, after all, underneath a thick layer of testosterone-fuelled violence. Or, in other words, American 'gridiron' football.

Running game

Don't let that put you off, though – this has nothing to do with three hour matches, esoteric strategies or throwing, Hail Marys.

Rather, Backbreaker hones in on the most exciting part of the game – running plays. Taking control of a single runner, you face a series of set pieces whereby you must run the entire length of the pitch.

This is achieved by tilting your handset left, right, forward and back to run in the corresponding directions. Meanwhile touch controls allow you to jink, spin, sprint, and showboat your way to the end zone.

You'll need to rely on these moves more and more as the rounds tick by, as you'll find yourself assailed by a growing number of opponents and ever more warped boundaries (step outside and it's round over).

Tight end

The key to Backbreaker's success is the way it handles movement. The interplay between its excellent physics and animation systems make every crunching tackle feel real, every balletic twist a triumph. It looks and plays fantastically.

There's not a lot to it, with only two modes - Challenge and Endurance (which play very similarly) - and an online high score facility. But that's a sign of the game’s assured focus – it really doesn’t need any further embellishment.

The fluidity of the action and the satisfaction that comes through its finely judged risk-reward structure will keep you coming back despite the repetitiveness of your actions.

Despite Backbreaker being a rather belated iPhone conversion, it's a very good one. In fact, given the respective levels of competition on the App Store and Android Market, it's arguable that Backbreaker stands as even more of an achievement on the Google platform.

Backbreaker Football

A brilliantly focused, gorgeous looking sports-action game, Backbreaker on Android stands out as one of the Android Market's best