NaturalMotion announced their upcoming football game, Backbreaker Football: Tackle Alley a few days ago. They provided us a few screenshots that many were skeptical were even actually taken on an iPhone, insisting that they must have been prerendered. We received visual confirmation this morning that all of these screenshots are in fact real with the following trailer:

Backbreaker Football runs on top of the "morpheme" engine which boasts the ability to "produce animation of a quality not seen before on the iPhone and iPod Touch providing the on-screen characters with a fluidity of motion rivaling that experienced on home consoles." Likening the animations to home consoles might be a lofty comparison, but the way players are moving in the trailer certainly does look much more natural than most of the other sports games on the App Store.

Backbreaker Football is not a full football game, and instead is just a game of running down field and avoiding waves of defenders by sprinting, dodging, and spinning to rack up combos and score multipliers. Backbreaker Football is due to be released soon, and we will post more information as we receive it.

  • Vicente Ragal

    Awesome trailer! Thanks for the vid.

  • http://jespersunivers.dk/ Plast2

    WOW!! This is sooooo going to be an insta buy for me! Really awesome display...

  • Vicente Ragal

    Awesome trailer! Thanks for the vid.

  • http://jespersunivers.dk/ Plast2

    WOW!! This is sooooo going to be an insta buy for me! Really awesome display...

  • kevlar

    Looks great but what a terrible trailer...I nearly had a seizure!.

  • kevlar

    Looks great but what a terrible trailer...I nearly had a seizure!.

  • Vende

    Maybe for 3 bucks

  • Vende

    Maybe for 3 bucks

  • PeterM11

    Great graphics and all but the fact that it's just a mini-game pretty much turns me off from it.

    • SalsaMD

      Why? Did you hate Baseball Superstars as well?

      • SalsaMD

        edit: I meant Baseball "Slugger"

    • DannyV

      Yeah, I completely agree. Why not make a whole game instead of these little mini games? Sorry, no offense, but I'm just tired of mini games on this device.

      • Eli Hodapp

        The whole game will be available for the XBOX 360 and PS3 for $60.

      • spiffyone

        The fact is that among consumers for this platform you are in the minority. Long form, more "full" games don't sell as well as the "shorter burst, pick up and play" offerings. As I often point out, it's a mobile platform, not a portable game system or a home console. The types of games that work best and sell best on this type of platform are those more pick up and play short burst style games. On portable game systems, where the average time spent playing a game can range from a half hour to upwards of a full hour, the game market favors more lengthy, fuller, more time consuming to get into games than mobile gaming, but still way more pick up and play than home console gaming.

        That said, there will be some companies that attempt to fill the very lucrative niche of "longer" games on this platform. If that's your want, I suggest NFL 2010 by Gameloft or the upcoming Madden game from EA. But...even then, I wouldn't really count on either being as feature rich or lengthy to get into as NFL games on DS and PSP or anywhere near the home console depth.

      • DannyV

        Yeah, don't quite agree with your first paragraph, as a whole. I mean, look at Gameloft, they make the most meaty games on this device and they're doing very well.

      • DannyV

        Oh, and I'm not expecting console depth on this device, just something with a little more depth than a game I can play online for free.

  • PeterM11

    Great graphics and all but the fact that it's just a mini-game pretty much turns me off from it.

    • SalsaMD

      Why? Did you hate Baseball Superstars as well?

      • SalsaMD

        edit: I meant Baseball "Slugger"

    • DannyV

      Yeah, I completely agree. Why not make a whole game instead of these little mini games? Sorry, no offense, but I'm just tired of mini games on this device.

      • Eli Hodapp

        The whole game will be available for the XBOX 360 and PS3 for $60.

      • spiffyone

        The fact is that among consumers for this platform you are in the minority. Long form, more "full" games don't sell as well as the "shorter burst, pick up and play" offerings. As I often point out, it's a mobile platform, not a portable game system or a home console. The types of games that work best and sell best on this type of platform are those more pick up and play short burst style games. On portable game systems, where the average time spent playing a game can range from a half hour to upwards of a full hour, the game market favors more lengthy, fuller, more time consuming to get into games than mobile gaming, but still way more pick up and play than home console gaming.

        That said, there will be some companies that attempt to fill the very lucrative niche of "longer" games on this platform. If that's your want, I suggest NFL 2010 by Gameloft or the upcoming Madden game from EA. But...even then, I wouldn't really count on either being as feature rich or lengthy to get into as NFL games on DS and PSP or anywhere near the home console depth.

      • DannyV

        Yeah, don't quite agree with your first paragraph, as a whole. I mean, look at Gameloft, they make the most meaty games on this device and they're doing very well.

      • DannyV

        Oh, and I'm not expecting console depth on this device, just something with a little more depth than a game I can play online for free.

  • murph

    i think this is a smart move. look at the success of Baseball Slugger on iPhone. the controls for a "full-sim" baseball or football game aren't on par with the console versions we are used to. i played NFL 2010...ugh, controls were bad. so keep it simple and tailored to the device. plus with only 3-4 guys on screen, graphics can be even better.

    add some scoreboards, ramp up the difficultly, some unlockables...and it could be a hit.

    • Steve

      I am in-between on the mini-game concept. I love Baseball Slugger, but the home run derby concept is a real one and feels more natural to me.

      But if they can get the presentation of this game concept down, and of course nail the gameplay, I can see this one being very fun. I love the idea of playing a full baseball or football game on an iPhone/iPod Touch, but realistically a great minigame is probably more in line with how I use it- for short stretches at a time.

  • murph

    i think this is a smart move. look at the success of Baseball Slugger on iPhone. the controls for a "full-sim" baseball or football game aren't on par with the console versions we are used to. i played NFL 2010...ugh, controls were bad. so keep it simple and tailored to the device. plus with only 3-4 guys on screen, graphics can be even better.

    add some scoreboards, ramp up the difficultly, some unlockables...and it could be a hit.

    • Steve

      I am in-between on the mini-game concept. I love Baseball Slugger, but the home run derby concept is a real one and feels more natural to me.

      But if they can get the presentation of this game concept down, and of course nail the gameplay, I can see this one being very fun. I love the idea of playing a full baseball or football game on an iPhone/iPod Touch, but realistically a great minigame is probably more in line with how I use it- for short stretches at a time.

  • arta

    Needs to be a full game or it's just a dumb minigame, like some Wii shit.

  • arta

    Needs to be a full game or it's just a dumb minigame, like some Wii shit.

  • beetle

    If you keep this game under $3, this will prolly do very well

  • beetle

    If you keep this game under $3, this will prolly do very well

  • akira01

    @Murph:"so keep it simple and tailored to the device."

    Why ?
    You can do a full game based on football. Really, it's possible...and there's already "full" game on the Idevice today. So, me too i'm tired of mini games with 20 minutes to finish and 5 minutes to be bored...

    • spiffyone

      Yeah, you can do it. But the market doesn't buy those games in the amount they do with these shorter burst, more pick up and play offerings.

      Again, it's a mobile platform. It's not a portable game system. Different markets, different types of devices, and most importantly different types of consumer tastes.

      As much as you and DannyV want more full games, the fact is that Steve's opinion is probably closer to the average iPhone/touch (and mobile platform as a whole) game consumer. Play sessions last mere minutes at a time, on average, rather than the half hour or hour long sessions on portable game systems like DS and PSP, or the multiple hour sessions on the home consoles.

      Longer, more "deep", and longer to get into games are the niche on this kind of platform, not the norm.

      • akira01

        "igain, it's a mobile platform. It's not a portable game system"

        No, not for me, and not for a lot of people today. How can you say that after GTA china wars announcment ?
        And After Real Racing, Rolando2, SMB, Puzzle quest, PGA tour golf, Toki Tori, Orions, Galaxy on fire, Monkey island, and all the puzzle game identical to the DS version as Mr Driller for example ?
        A good game is a good game, that's all, and there's plenty of console games on the Iphone, NOT only mobile game, and these games sells very well (+ 500 000 for SMB).

        Have you GTA china wars on a Nokia, have you Puzzle quest or Worms, or Spider, or Rolando 2 ? No, because your Nokia IS a mobile, not the Iphone, the Iphone is the Iphone, it's an other dimension for gameplay, and the amount of games on this systeme and the quality of the game aren't these of a simple mobile.

        I had a DS and a PSP. Today, i play only with my Iphone and i'm a hardcore gamer. If the Iphone wasn't also a portable game system, my PSP will ba in my pocket today. But no, i play only with my Iphone, 'cause there's console games on it. It's simple as that...

    • SMEG_n00b

      And you would be willing to pay full price ($60) or have time for a PC size iPhone game? yeah. Go b1tch someplace else chicken fart.

  • akira01

    @Murph:"so keep it simple and tailored to the device."

    Why ?
    You can do a full game based on football. Really, it's possible...and there's already "full" game on the Idevice today. So, me too i'm tired of mini games with 20 minutes to finish and 5 minutes to be bored...

    • spiffyone

      Yeah, you can do it. But the market doesn't buy those games in the amount they do with these shorter burst, more pick up and play offerings.

      Again, it's a mobile platform. It's not a portable game system. Different markets, different types of devices, and most importantly different types of consumer tastes.

      As much as you and DannyV want more full games, the fact is that Steve's opinion is probably closer to the average iPhone/touch (and mobile platform as a whole) game consumer. Play sessions last mere minutes at a time, on average, rather than the half hour or hour long sessions on portable game systems like DS and PSP, or the multiple hour sessions on the home consoles.

      Longer, more "deep", and longer to get into games are the niche on this kind of platform, not the norm.

      • akira01

        "igain, it's a mobile platform. It's not a portable game system"

        No, not for me, and not for a lot of people today. How can you say that after GTA china wars announcment ?
        And After Real Racing, Rolando2, SMB, Puzzle quest, PGA tour golf, Toki Tori, Orions, Galaxy on fire, Monkey island, and all the puzzle game identical to the DS version as Mr Driller for example ?
        A good game is a good game, that's all, and there's plenty of console games on the Iphone, NOT only mobile game, and these games sells very well (+ 500 000 for SMB).

        Have you GTA china wars on a Nokia, have you Puzzle quest or Worms, or Spider, or Rolando 2 ? No, because your Nokia IS a mobile, not the Iphone, the Iphone is the Iphone, it's an other dimension for gameplay, and the amount of games on this systeme and the quality of the game aren't these of a simple mobile.

        I had a DS and a PSP. Today, i play only with my Iphone and i'm a hardcore gamer. If the Iphone wasn't also a portable game system, my PSP will ba in my pocket today. But no, i play only with my Iphone, 'cause there's console games on it. It's simple as that...

    • SMEG_n00b

      And you would be willing to pay full price ($60) or have time for a PC size iPhone game? yeah. Go b1tch someplace else chicken fart.

  • themendoz

    I. WANT. THIS. GAME.
    Honestly, I can understand why people would bash this because its a mini game. After playing Slugger, though, I've learned to embrace mini games on the iDevice. This gives me exactly what NFL 2010 isn't as good in so it allows me to have both the full experience and the running frenzy I look for. Perfect. I usually wait for sales but I'm buying this one as soon as it comes out. I agree 3 buck seems like the sweet spot.

  • themendoz

    I. WANT. THIS. GAME.
    Honestly, I can understand why people would bash this because its a mini game. After playing Slugger, though, I've learned to embrace mini games on the iDevice. This gives me exactly what NFL 2010 isn't as good in so it allows me to have both the full experience and the running frenzy I look for. Perfect. I usually wait for sales but I'm buying this one as soon as it comes out. I agree 3 buck seems like the sweet spot.

  • SalsaMD

    Well, clearly the best option then is to offer a full game with options to play mini games. Then everyone is happy.

    • akira01

      Yes, it's the best option..
      But there is theory about the Iphone and one of these is "casual games sells better than hardcore games". What a surprise !!!
      But another theory says that hardcore and full games sells at higher price and sells very well too and that is the reason why Gameloft get plenty of dollars with "full" Iphone games...and so EA today...
      GTA china wars don't sell very well on the DS, because the DS isn't a real console ?
      The REAL reason about programmers choice of mini games is simple:
      Little work...plenty dollars...NOT the different market;
      Or there is an extremely strange reality, a reality where ALL the Iphone gamers are not console gamers, where all of the console gamers don't like console games on theirs Iphone but like this on theirs PSP .
      A very, very strange reality..

    • SMEG_n00b

      Sure, why not also offer world peace, an end world debt and poverty, oh yeah and full employment for the hard of thinking.

  • SalsaMD

    Well, clearly the best option then is to offer a full game with options to play mini games. Then everyone is happy.

    • akira01

      Yes, it's the best option..
      But there is theory about the Iphone and one of these is "casual games sells better than hardcore games". What a surprise !!!
      But another theory says that hardcore and full games sells at higher price and sells very well too and that is the reason why Gameloft get plenty of dollars with "full" Iphone games...and so EA today...
      GTA china wars don't sell very well on the DS, because the DS isn't a real console ?
      The REAL reason about programmers choice of mini games is simple:
      Little work...plenty dollars...NOT the different market;
      Or there is an extremely strange reality, a reality where ALL the Iphone gamers are not console gamers, where all of the console gamers don't like console games on theirs Iphone but like this on theirs PSP .
      A very, very strange reality..

    • SMEG_n00b

      Sure, why not also offer world peace, an end world debt and poverty, oh yeah and full employment for the hard of thinking.

  • http://www.powso.com Totalsam

    I said it before and I'll say it again, if NaturalMotion incorporates a multiplayer head-to-head option on par with Slugger, then it'll be HUGE.

    And to chime in on the greater discussion at hand...Slugger is just a "mini" arcade game, and I invest at least 20-30 minutes of play time per session. The "richer experience" you get from a console game is in the eye of the beholder. If you're merely taking about the length of a gaming session, of course you'll invest more time. But cumulatively I've pumped more time into the iPhone than any other gaming platform as of late.

    The multiplayer NEEDS to happen though. Are you listening NaturalMotion? I will (attempt to) make love to a Grizzly if you put it in there : )

    • SalsaMD

      Don't forget youtube replays of spectacular runs.

  • http://www.powso.com Totalsam

    I said it before and I'll say it again, if NaturalMotion incorporates a multiplayer head-to-head option on par with Slugger, then it'll be HUGE.

    And to chime in on the greater discussion at hand...Slugger is just a "mini" arcade game, and I invest at least 20-30 minutes of play time per session. The "richer experience" you get from a console game is in the eye of the beholder. If you're merely taking about the length of a gaming session, of course you'll invest more time. But cumulatively I've pumped more time into the iPhone than any other gaming platform as of late.

    The multiplayer NEEDS to happen though. Are you listening NaturalMotion? I will (attempt to) make love to a Grizzly if you put it in there : )

    • SalsaMD

      Don't forget youtube replays of spectacular runs.

  • akira01

    @Spiffyone:"and most importantly different types of consumer tastes."

    and

    "As much as you and DannyV want more full games,"

    So why did you say "different types of consumer tastes if the tastes of lot of people are the same as consoles gamers ?
    I don't understand here...
    There are hardcore gamers and casual gamers on the Iphone....there's a lot of casual gamers ? and so ?
    On the DS, there's also a lot of casual gamers today, on the wii too. Are you trying to explain me that the WII and the DS aren't real console system ?
    Are you SURE that this is different market ?
    If so, why the PSP don't sell very well today ? Crisis ? Only ?
    Or , as i think so, a lot of gamers plays with theirs Iphones and don't want a SECOND portable game system ?

  • akira01

    @Spiffyone:"and most importantly different types of consumer tastes."

    and

    "As much as you and DannyV want more full games,"

    So why did you say "different types of consumer tastes if the tastes of lot of people are the same as consoles gamers ?
    I don't understand here...
    There are hardcore gamers and casual gamers on the Iphone....there's a lot of casual gamers ? and so ?
    On the DS, there's also a lot of casual gamers today, on the wii too. Are you trying to explain me that the WII and the DS aren't real console system ?
    Are you SURE that this is different market ?
    If so, why the PSP don't sell very well today ? Crisis ? Only ?
    Or , as i think so, a lot of gamers plays with theirs Iphones and don't want a SECOND portable game system ?

  • Nexus-6

    God I'll be glad when the trailer blackout trend DIES.

  • Nexus-6

    God I'll be glad when the trailer blackout trend DIES.

  • Joe

    If you don't want it don't buy it. This is just a mini game that will be availible when the actual game comes out for 60 dollars on the 360 and PS3, which is gonna be the shit cause it runs Euphoria and Morpheme.

  • Joe

    If you don't want it don't buy it. This is just a mini game that will be availible when the actual game comes out for 60 dollars on the 360 and PS3, which is gonna be the shit cause it runs Euphoria and Morpheme.

  • Steve

    I think another factor in their decision to make a minigame is the complexity of animating football players. I'm not saying 11-on-11 can't be done, but obviously you can do a lot more with animation if you only have a 3-4 players on the field.

    That being said, I hope it at least feels like real football play, i.e. a couple of players lined up in formation or something, the feeling of a RB anticipating tacklers downfield, maybe somehow incorporate pass-catching, 1st/2nd/3rd/4th downs, etc. It will seem weird if it's just you running downfield with occasional guys standing flat-footed in your path- the football aspects will seem very tacked-on and superfluous.

    • Fix

      I agree, i to think its an technical decision to do a mini game.
      If they made a full game of this it wont look as pretty as it does now :(
      Im not saying it cant be done, with more time and $.

      Its a wam slam thank you mam!
      Im not interested in it (shame)

  • Steve

    I think another factor in their decision to make a minigame is the complexity of animating football players. I'm not saying 11-on-11 can't be done, but obviously you can do a lot more with animation if you only have a 3-4 players on the field.

    That being said, I hope it at least feels like real football play, i.e. a couple of players lined up in formation or something, the feeling of a RB anticipating tacklers downfield, maybe somehow incorporate pass-catching, 1st/2nd/3rd/4th downs, etc. It will seem weird if it's just you running downfield with occasional guys standing flat-footed in your path- the football aspects will seem very tacked-on and superfluous.

    • Fix

      I agree, i to think its an technical decision to do a mini game.
      If they made a full game of this it wont look as pretty as it does now :(
      Im not saying it cant be done, with more time and $.

      Its a wam slam thank you mam!
      Im not interested in it (shame)

  • Num_T

    This features procedural animation! On the iPhone! Crazy... anyway as people have already pointed out - the fact that this is on the iphone is probably pushing the processor a bit already - to calculate the animations on the fly... hence a low limit on number of players at any one time.

    Natural Motions intention is probably to use the iphone version to impress people with the possiblities inherent in their animation system when used in a football game. This will then drive sales of their console versions - really bringing in the big bucks...

    • SMEG_n00b

      Your really really clever, like you must be a genious. But your WRONG, its all canned dumbass.

      • Num_T

        Ah my bad. Sorry for the misinformation people. It would seem that SMEG_n00b is right - it doesn't use the morpheme runtime engine as far as I can find out. Perhaps they just used their authoring suite to create the animations and then use them the same as with canned ones.

  • Num_T

    This features procedural animation! On the iPhone! Crazy... anyway as people have already pointed out - the fact that this is on the iphone is probably pushing the processor a bit already - to calculate the animations on the fly... hence a low limit on number of players at any one time.

    Natural Motions intention is probably to use the iphone version to impress people with the possiblities inherent in their animation system when used in a football game. This will then drive sales of their console versions - really bringing in the big bucks...

    • SMEG_n00b

      Your really really clever, like you must be a genious. But your WRONG, its all canned dumbass.

      • Num_T

        Ah my bad. Sorry for the misinformation people. It would seem that SMEG_n00b is right - it doesn't use the morpheme runtime engine as far as I can find out. Perhaps they just used their authoring suite to create the animations and then use them the same as with canned ones.

  • Dave

    Guys, If you want a full game expect to pay full price. These games still take time to make for the developer. Mini games can be released at $3 or so because they are not so time consuming to produce. Otherwise iphone games would cost the same price as a console game and take 1/2 a day to download.

  • Dave

    Guys, If you want a full game expect to pay full price. These games still take time to make for the developer. Mini games can be released at $3 or so because they are not so time consuming to produce. Otherwise iphone games would cost the same price as a console game and take 1/2 a day to download.

  • Myles

    Dudes, the appeal here is a tackling mini-game with NO TACKLING ANIMATIONS. You will never see the same tackle twice, which is something the trailer doesn't really entail. The full retail game will be coming out for the 360/PS3 and will be an in-depth football simulator with 50+ teams to play franchise modes with, plus the ability to create your own team.

    This ipod game is just to wet everyones appetite for a football game that is not full of canned and repeated animations.(like EA's barf)

  • Myles

    Dudes, the appeal here is a tackling mini-game with NO TACKLING ANIMATIONS. You will never see the same tackle twice, which is something the trailer doesn't really entail. The full retail game will be coming out for the 360/PS3 and will be an in-depth football simulator with 50+ teams to play franchise modes with, plus the ability to create your own team.

    This ipod game is just to wet everyones appetite for a football game that is not full of canned and repeated animations.(like EA's barf)

  • slipperStalker

    This is going to be awesome - but it will be using canned animation. This isn't going to be a bad thing if it looks good. It doesn't use euphoria (the real time solution) it used endorphin to generate tackles offline.
    Am def going to buy it if its cheap enough... as it looks really good.

  • slipperStalker

    This is going to be awesome - but it will be using canned animation. This isn't going to be a bad thing if it looks good. It doesn't use euphoria (the real time solution) it used endorphin to generate tackles offline.
    Am def going to buy it if its cheap enough... as it looks really good.