A game that has evolved as a Mini-Game in Backbreaker
has been brought back to fans with new ways to play. The Tackle Alley challenges of Backbreaker Vengeance have been seen previously on Android and iPhone platforms as well as on the Backbreaker Football to coincide with the release of the original and became a mini hit. The simple tilt controls on the phone and just a spin to avoid a tackle in the grace of a Russian ballet performer to showboat and tease your way to the End zone was enough to kill some good time for people on a train ride and become a true standout of a full football game.Story -
As far as story this game has none. As it is meant to be a Mini-Game it is not meant to have a story or character progression, just increasingly difficult challenges.
The one thing it does have as a device to make you feel a bit in the game is a character creator. You get to have your own hulking brute in a small range of uniforms, a selection of skin tones, a name on his back and a number of your choice. While not a varied selection by any means it is enough to give you a sense of ownership and nothing feels better than having a big guy with your last name across his back sporting your favorite number charging down towards glory.
Were I to base a score for story on this alone I would be granting a few extras but it isn't the whole package. In short story does not exist but it need not, the game would not be driven further with a story or back story to the character, it is what it is... A high paced run to victory.N/A
5Game Play -
This is where Backbreaker Vengeance shines and stands out. The concept is very simple but still varied depending on the challenge. The game has 3 main modes; Tackle Alley, Vengeance and Supremacy.
All of these modes contain similar elements but just a different take on how to run them. In any given challenge you are given 5
Waves to beat and 5 lives per wave, If you fail out on the 3rd
wave, start again. But the main thing is to earn points as you go which adds risk to the game. The defenders you come up against are broken into 3 styles, Red Tacklers which you can jump, Blue Tacklers which you can barge through and Yellow Tacklers which you can slide under, by passing a tackler in your path will provide you with 100 points for a sidestep or spin but you will get a handy 500 for tricking them in the style fitting to them but it requires some timing which adds a risk element to it. All courses are decked out with Bonus zones giving you a quick 100/200/500 points for breaking into the right area or jumping the right hurdle and most will contain a set of boundaries forcing you to run a particular path otherwise step into the red area and your disqualified.Tackle Alley
is the one most people would be familiar with, In this your goal is to get your man down the end zone and score a touchdown without being hit on the way, A very simple concept with surprisingly addictive consequences. While taking on the tacklers you will be put through the obstacle course forced to duck and weave your way home but when you get past the defenders you can showboat your way home if you’re feeling cocky for some bonus points, the only problem is a defender can come racing from behind (Which you cannot see as the camera will not let you know) and take you down. On the final showboat home you can hear the charging footsteps of the enemy defenders coming for you as you consider breaking into a full sprint and ignoring the points or take the chance and spend a second or two on the edge of your seat.Vengeance
is a new mode in which you get some revenge and become the tackler, while this might sound simple enough enemy defenders so appear in the mix meaning you have to dodge while on your way to save the point. You can take down the runner in two ways, get close enough and it will auto tackle or take a dive at him, this is where the risk comes in as tacking a dive can give you that edge but could see him gallop away like an antelope who just escaped being dinner while you eat a face full of dirt. While being very similar to Tackle Alley except you are running after a man and not a white painted line it has a much more satisfying end if victory is obtained with the satisfying crunch of bones, especially if it is a head on collision.
Last but not least Supremacy
. This is a very different take on the game as it contains both of the previous games and mashes it into a sick schoolyard game. The idea of Supremacy is you and 3 other players are running a race to the finish and the one with the least points becomes a tackler for the next round, the problem... Only the 1st
runner to arrive at any checkpoint will be awarded, no bonus for being a close second. This game mode really mixes things up and really crushes you when you become the tackler, but all is not lost, a tackler still gains points and later the race becomes to take down the man. This is one of those games that anyone can win up to the final bell and really adds another adrenaline pumping mode to the mix.
All in all 3 very simple modes pulled of eloquently, a word I think many of the players would struggle to use after some of the tackles they receive. The game is mean to be simple in concept but hard to master as a jump in the wrong direction means starting over. As something evolved more from the mobile gaming than the original game it is from it will always be simple but like most mobile hits very addictive and fun.5
The sound of Backbreaker is that of its counterpart in a way but a scaled down version. The soundtrack is very limited but gives the boom and bass lines to that of a full scaled EA soundtrack, it isn't until letting the menu loop a few times you really become aware that the game only really contains about 2 tracks. As for the music it pumps in straight away almost expecting a heavy rap track to hit across the Title page which is covered nicely by simple and small menus meaning you don't sit around too long on the same track.
But Backbreaker lives on its sound effects. The whole game is made to create atmosphere from the crowd and the ground being stomped by boots as your opponents charge at you to take you down. They utilize many basic sound manipulation techniques which allow you to hit a real stride and push harder in the game, moments like when showboating to the touchdown line all you hear is the crowd roaring and footsteps rushing to greet you from behind to try stop you which adds that edge of your seat feel. Other moments like getting a good solid run will hear the crowd roar for you again and put the pressure on you to want to keep pushing and taking risks to get them louder and screaming for blood.
In the end the sound plays a heavy role in a game based on such a small idea and is well supported and delivers that of a blockbuster list title in that of an Arcade size game.4
Graphically this game doesn't feel like it has evolved from its mobile counterpart but instead just become the up scaled version of it. It runs on a cartoony style with a gritty top layer which works for it, the game runs with a slight comedic undertone which wouldn't work with a full HD graphic game with a brown filter over the top and that helps it stay a simple little Mini-Game brought big. But while not the prettiest girl on the stage Backbreaker certainly has a nice gloss over it, it never hits lag or has any screen cutting which is in part thanks to not trying to squeeze 10,000 advertisements onto the screen like many sporting games.
After a while though you realize you aren't here for stunning visuals you expect from an A-List game but the addictive game play of an arcade game and what style they have taken works very well.4
In all Backbreaker is like the country boy gone to the big city to make his dreams come true, it will make some good friends on the way and while it probably won't hit the big time it will be successful in its own way and those around it will know what a great guy he is. This game is definitely worth some of your time and a least worth downloading the demo to give it a shot. It like many arcade hits now days has evolved from the mobile gaming genre which is seeing its way into more traditional ways of gaming and if you want a face paced, addictive and fresh game this is worth your money.4