Developer: NaturalMotion
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★★
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Football games, in the minds of many, just don’t seem to work on the iPhone. Games like Madden and Gameloft’s NFL series sure do look neat, but they don’t seem to stand the test of time. The controls are too complex, the gameplay tends to be too choppy, and gamers long for something simpler. Enter the Backbreaker Football series. Instead of jumbling up the screen with players and plays, Backbreaker keeps it simple, concentrating on breaking tackles… and now tackling.

The original Backbreaker Football was a fun tackle breaking experience, but it grew old fairly quickly because of its lack of depth. After juking, spinning, running, and showboating around increasing numbers of defenders, there just really wasn’t much to do. The very reason sequels are created though is to take a great idea and make it bigger and better… and that’s just what Backbreaker 2 does.

Instead of limiting gamers to one play mode, Backbreaker 2 has two modes, a mode that pits you as the runner and one that pits you as the tackler. The same concept applies to both (although in the tackle mode you have to tackle a player after avoiding the defenders). The game fields are also much more complex, not only graphically, but in the amount of stuff going on. There are bonus score patches on the field, barriers that you have to hurdle over (yes, you can jump!), and objects that you have to duck under using the truck button (yes, you can truck defenders!). Even the celebrations are more complex, allowing for a base celebration and a super celebration that really pumps up your score.

At the end of the day though, after all of the glitzy graphics (they really are quite impressive), the great added moves, and the new obstacles to boost the game mechanics, the core of the game really is just about the same… not that that is a bad thing. If you were a fan of the first Backbreaker Football, you’ll absolutely love Backbreaker 2, and if you didn’t like the first one, I’d recommend giving the new one a chance, although the basics are pretty much the same. It’s obviously limited in scope, but the new additions to the game really do make the whole experience considerably better.

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