281895_2Last week we took a look at NaturalMotion's Backbreaker Football [App Store], a title that lies somewhere in between a very impressive tech demo and a fun football minigame.

The gimmick behind Backbreaker is the morpheme physics engine. Instead of having pre-generated tackle animations, everything is done on the fly and because of this no two tackles ever should be the same. Like most games that use some variation of a ragdoll physics model, sometimes things can go awry producing hilarious and highly unrealistic results, but overall the animations are cool enough to sometimes make you want to watch the multi-view replays after each tackle.

More information on Backbreaker can be found in our review:

The gameplay of Backbreaker is structured in to a series of challenges where you run down a football field juking, spinning, and sprinting past defenders attempting to tackle you. You run by tilting your device forward, and the direction you run is controlled by tilting left or right similar to how you would control a racing game.

The different levels start simple, initially only asking you to evade a few defenders on a wide open field. Backbreaker quickly adds a twist with the inclusion of red lines on the field that you must run between without getting tackled. Step across one of these lines and you have to start the whole level over.


[ Full HD version | Low Bandwidth version ]

Backbreaker Football is a technically impressive game that can be a lot of fun as long as you realize that you're only getting a running minigame and aren't actually looking for a full football experience. I've had a great time playing it, and similar to Homerun Battle 3D [$4.99], Backbreaker is a great game for sports fans to play for a few minutes at a time.

App Store Link: Backbreaker Football, 99¢

  • wilderthanthesun

    weeeeeeeeeeeeeee - got it!!
    Great fun!!

  • wilderthanthesun

    weeeeeeeeeeeeeee - got it!!
    Great fun!!

  • TonyRockyHorror

    I totally bought this on the strength of it being a minigame and not a full one. I've found that, for me anyway, quickhitter games are a far far better experience than deeply involved ones on the iPhone. I much prefer stuff I can play for just a couple on minutes at a time than ones that I have to invest an hour in. If I have that much time to game, I'd rather do it on my Xbox 360, PS3, or PC.

    • SalsaMD

      Well, the best of both worlds is having the option for either approach in a sports game...

  • TonyRockyHorror

    I totally bought this on the strength of it being a minigame and not a full one. I've found that, for me anyway, quickhitter games are a far far better experience than deeply involved ones on the iPhone. I much prefer stuff I can play for just a couple on minutes at a time than ones that I have to invest an hour in. If I have that much time to game, I'd rather do it on my Xbox 360, PS3, or PC.

    • SalsaMD

      Well, the best of both worlds is having the option for either approach in a sports game...

  • dumas1000

    I only bought it because it's a dollar. At whatever the full asking price, I wouldn't have done so, even though I own the Madden and NFL 2010. Backbreaker doesn't seem to offer a lot in terms of varied content. Seems fairly limited in what it can do (one minigame) and will potentially become repetitive more quickly than most games. If it had some kind of experience/level-up/unlockables/power-up system, like Homerun Battle does, then the replay value would be significantly higher. I haven't play it yet, but that doesn't seem to be the case from the comments I've heard.

    The real question is, if they made a fully-functioning football game with this engine and it was premimum priced at 6.99 or 7.99, would people buy it? It tooks better and seems to even play better than EA or Gameloft's offerings, but without proper licensing, I still wouldn't buy it.

    • Syferus

      Licensing is an issue, but in terms of how the game looks and runs it's important to remember the camera is at shoulder height and you're render far less players on screen at any given time.

      NaturalMotion are touting this as a mini game-cum-tech demo and while undoubtedly impressive if the same engine was applied to a more traditional sports game you can easily expect less visual fluidity and more of the robo-animations that are a necessity in Madden and NFL.

  • dumas1000

    I only bought it because it's a dollar. At whatever the full asking price, I wouldn't have done so, even though I own the Madden and NFL 2010. Backbreaker doesn't seem to offer a lot in terms of varied content. Seems fairly limited in what it can do (one minigame) and will potentially become repetitive more quickly than most games. If it had some kind of experience/level-up/unlockables/power-up system, like Homerun Battle does, then the replay value would be significantly higher. I haven't play it yet, but that doesn't seem to be the case from the comments I've heard.

    The real question is, if they made a fully-functioning football game with this engine and it was premimum priced at 6.99 or 7.99, would people buy it? It tooks better and seems to even play better than EA or Gameloft's offerings, but without proper licensing, I still wouldn't buy it.

    • Syferus

      Licensing is an issue, but in terms of how the game looks and runs it's important to remember the camera is at shoulder height and you're render far less players on screen at any given time.

      NaturalMotion are touting this as a mini game-cum-tech demo and while undoubtedly impressive if the same engine was applied to a more traditional sports game you can easily expect less visual fluidity and more of the robo-animations that are a necessity in Madden and NFL.

  • http://touchreviews.tk Qasim

    CRAP CRAP CRAP!

    I had 3 dollars in my account yesterday. I just bought skee ball yesteday, and stupid retarded apple charged me twice for the SAME app! Now i have a buck and five cents, and i need one more penny to get this. :( :( :(..

    I waited so long for this. God :(

    • MathSkills

      call me crazy but with a $1.05 left in your account and the app being priced at .99 cents at launch you should be able to purchase the app.

      I must be missing something though...

      • Phildo

        Yeah it's a crazy thing called sales tax. Where I live, apple charges me $0.087 on the dollar

      • http://touchreviews.tk Qasim

        yes you are missing something.

        tax where i live us 7%

      • MathSkills

        sucks for you guys thought you didnt know how to add.... i didnt even know about the tax issue. Live in CA we dont get charged any tax at least i never have...

    • http://touchreviews.tk Qasim

      Never mind. I changed my state to Deleware :P..

    • http://touchreviews.tk Qasim

      I hope that's not illegal. Cause apple charged me twice for the same app and refused to give me my money back.

      • http://3d-dt.com/RigidChips Thorero

        Well contact iTunes Support and tell them your issue. They're always very helpful to me. As for the tax issue, that's something I've never encountered, and my US account is registered in FL.

  • http://touchreviews.tk Qasim

    CRAP CRAP CRAP!

    I had 3 dollars in my account yesterday. I just bought skee ball yesteday, and stupid retarded apple charged me twice for the SAME app! Now i have a buck and five cents, and i need one more penny to get this. :( :( :(..

    I waited so long for this. God :(

    • MathSkills

      call me crazy but with a $1.05 left in your account and the app being priced at .99 cents at launch you should be able to purchase the app.

      I must be missing something though...

      • Phildo

        Yeah it's a crazy thing called sales tax. Where I live, apple charges me $0.087 on the dollar

      • http://touchreviews.tk Qasim

        yes you are missing something.

        tax where i live us 7%

      • MathSkills

        sucks for you guys thought you didnt know how to add.... i didnt even know about the tax issue. Live in CA we dont get charged any tax at least i never have...

    • http://touchreviews.tk Qasim

      Never mind. I changed my state to Deleware :P..

    • http://touchreviews.tk Qasim

      I hope that's not illegal. Cause apple charged me twice for the same app and refused to give me my money back.

      • http://3d-dt.com/RigidChips Thorero

        Well contact iTunes Support and tell them your issue. They're always very helpful to me. As for the tax issue, that's something I've never encountered, and my US account is registered in FL.

  • RNF

    VERY FUN!

  • RNF

    VERY FUN!

  • Servo

    just want to say that the preview is wrong...the tackles in this iphone game are not generated on the fly...thats going to be the ps3/360 version of the game...just thought you gus would like to know.....been following this game long enough to know :)

    • Mystic

      Yeah I wish I would have known this before I bought it. It's no wonder it didn't say it used the 'endorphin' engine, I figured it was a typo, but nope, the physics of the full game aren't there and therefore make it worthless.

      • SalsaMD

        Worthless? That's a bit extreme is it not?

      • goingGOne

        Gosh worthless isn't quite the term i'd use for a 99c game that looks this good and is pretty fun to play...

      • Mystic

        No it's not extreme. It should have been free! Especially when they have been hyping it as using the physics based endorphin engine.

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        Doodle Jump: $.99
        Backbreaker Football: Free?

        You lost me there, Mystic.

      • Tmonk

        Hey Mystic, it DOES use endorphin. Why should it be free if it uses endorphin? :/

      • SalsaMD

        "Backbreaker Football brings next-gen console technology to the iPhone. Incredibly fluid animation (using NaturalMotion’s morpheme engine), bone-crunching tackles (based on endorphin simulation technology), a stunning 3D stadium and multi-angle instant replays."

  • Servo

    just want to say that the preview is wrong...the tackles in this iphone game are not generated on the fly...thats going to be the ps3/360 version of the game...just thought you gus would like to know.....been following this game long enough to know :)

    • Mystic

      Yeah I wish I would have known this before I bought it. It's no wonder it didn't say it used the 'endorphin' engine, I figured it was a typo, but nope, the physics of the full game aren't there and therefore make it worthless.

      • SalsaMD

        Worthless? That's a bit extreme is it not?

      • goingGOne

        Gosh worthless isn't quite the term i'd use for a 99c game that looks this good and is pretty fun to play...

      • Mystic

        No it's not extreme. It should have been free! Especially when they have been hyping it as using the physics based endorphin engine.

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        Doodle Jump: $.99
        Backbreaker Football: Free?

        You lost me there, Mystic.

      • Tmonk

        Hey Mystic, it DOES use endorphin. Why should it be free if it uses endorphin? :/

      • SalsaMD

        "Backbreaker Football brings next-gen console technology to the iPhone. Incredibly fluid animation (using NaturalMotion’s morpheme engine), bone-crunching tackles (based on endorphin simulation technology), a stunning 3D stadium and multi-angle instant replays."

  • Steve

    I bought the game and have played it around 20 minutes. I think it's a lot of fun, Backbreaker:Football as Home Run Battle:Baseball. What I like about these 2 games is they get the core gameplay down pretty well, and you can play for 2-3 minutes, or 20 minutes if you want.

    The one thing that would be great to add is some sort of multiplayer. But since this is a tech demo turned into a game, I'm not sure how much new stuff will ever be added.

    For 99c, it's a no-brainer for me.

  • Steve

    I bought the game and have played it around 20 minutes. I think it's a lot of fun, Backbreaker:Football as Home Run Battle:Baseball. What I like about these 2 games is they get the core gameplay down pretty well, and you can play for 2-3 minutes, or 20 minutes if you want.

    The one thing that would be great to add is some sort of multiplayer. But since this is a tech demo turned into a game, I'm not sure how much new stuff will ever be added.

    For 99c, it's a no-brainer for me.

  • rodneyjacobs

    If they made a full football game with these graphics, it would blow madden and nfl 10 out the water. Madden and Nfl 10 clearly didnt capitalized on what the Iphone graphics can really do.

    • SalsaMD

      But that's the question. Apart from the 3rd gen IPT and the 3GS, could they make a full fledged game with this engine for the rest of the bunch? Doubtful.

  • rodneyjacobs

    If they made a full football game with these graphics, it would blow madden and nfl 10 out the water. Madden and Nfl 10 clearly didnt capitalized on what the Iphone graphics can really do.

    • SalsaMD

      But that's the question. Apart from the 3rd gen IPT and the 3GS, could they make a full fledged game with this engine for the rest of the bunch? Doubtful.

  • eggzbacon

    This games so much fun and I don't know why people are complaining. Its a dollar, geez

    • weisome

      Couldn't agree with you more.

  • eggzbacon

    This games so much fun and I don't know why people are complaining. Its a dollar, geez

    • weisome

      Couldn't agree with you more.

  • wegmans

    This game is FIVE STARS in my opinion. I've been around, you know me... If you liked Hero of Sparta, you'd like this.. It has this awesome badass aspect to it, when you dodge a guy coming at you, you end up cheering.. it's a spectator game, so you can pass it around... but it has a great feeling of speed and momentum. The graphics are above average, and perfect detail for this game. The name you use is on your jersey, for example. Great deep sound effects too, definitely try to play it with earphones on..

    Five stars! I can't believe it was only $0.99, i thought I'd have to pay at least $4.99

  • wegmans

    This game is FIVE STARS in my opinion. I've been around, you know me... If you liked Hero of Sparta, you'd like this.. It has this awesome badass aspect to it, when you dodge a guy coming at you, you end up cheering.. it's a spectator game, so you can pass it around... but it has a great feeling of speed and momentum. The graphics are above average, and perfect detail for this game. The name you use is on your jersey, for example. Great deep sound effects too, definitely try to play it with earphones on..

    Five stars! I can't believe it was only $0.99, i thought I'd have to pay at least $4.99

  • Richard

    I have played it and found myself shouting out loud when I got surprise hits, the players attacking you do it in different ways and it gets pretty hard as you move up. Plus you only get so many lives.

    If you only got a random few minutes to waste I reckon this games is a go-er. It rules! And I dont even get American Football.

    They need to do a rugby version with more options - fend, sidestep, spin, dummy, barge. haha

  • Richard

    I have played it and found myself shouting out loud when I got surprise hits, the players attacking you do it in different ways and it gets pretty hard as you move up. Plus you only get so many lives.

    If you only got a random few minutes to waste I reckon this games is a go-er. It rules! And I dont even get American Football.

    They need to do a rugby version with more options - fend, sidestep, spin, dummy, barge. haha

  • Eric

    Yeah, those tackles are definitely not being generated on the fly. There are two low hit flip-over tackles in the video, and if you play them back to back, they're exactly the same both times. They're at 4:48 and 5:38 in the video, go have a look.

  • Eric

    Yeah, those tackles are definitely not being generated on the fly. There are two low hit flip-over tackles in the video, and if you play them back to back, they're exactly the same both times. They're at 4:48 and 5:38 in the video, go have a look.

  • Noobatizer

    I think all the people bringing this game down may be a bit harsh.
    I mean come on, its not very expensive at the moment (hopefully prices won't go up too high).

    The game IS actually pretty repetitive. But its a very satisfying type of repetitive. Before judging the game lets consider every aspect of the money:content ratio.

    Worth it.

  • Noobatizer

    I think all the people bringing this game down may be a bit harsh.
    I mean come on, its not very expensive at the moment (hopefully prices won't go up too high).

    The game IS actually pretty repetitive. But its a very satisfying type of repetitive. Before judging the game lets consider every aspect of the money:content ratio.

    Worth it.

  • Noobatizer

    Oh and to add on.

    The game is cool. Yes, cool. That's how I want to put it.

  • Noobatizer

    Oh and to add on.

    The game is cool. Yes, cool. That's how I want to put it.

  • Kita

    Why buy a game that looks like it's worth a dollar when there's so many apps out there that are FANTASTIC values for a dollar? After buying so many apps i've decided to only buy ones that are a real value versus these "tech demos". Maybe if there weren't so many apps to buy I'd get this but not when there are way better options for fun apps on the app store.

    • Tmonk

      You're right... it is fantastic value for a dollar. No doubt about that.

    • SalsaMD

      Depends what you think is fun. This app is categorically worth $0.99. If you find that concept elusive, and actually own the game, then I fear all is lost for you...

      • Kita

        I stand corrected, this app is awesome!!! I thought this was going to be another app that showed potential more than feeling like a fun and complete game but I'm loving every second of this app. The whole experience with the tilting and juking around just feels amazing.

  • Kita

    Why buy a game that looks like it's worth a dollar when there's so many apps out there that are FANTASTIC values for a dollar? After buying so many apps i've decided to only buy ones that are a real value versus these "tech demos". Maybe if there weren't so many apps to buy I'd get this but not when there are way better options for fun apps on the app store.

    • Tmonk

      You're right... it is fantastic value for a dollar. No doubt about that.

    • SalsaMD

      Depends what you think is fun. This app is categorically worth $0.99. If you find that concept elusive, and actually own the game, then I fear all is lost for you...

      • Kita

        I stand corrected, this app is awesome!!! I thought this was going to be another app that showed potential more than feeling like a fun and complete game but I'm loving every second of this app. The whole experience with the tilting and juking around just feels amazing.

  • goingGOne

    Don't know why people keep saying its a tech demo... Sure it has been published by a company that makes console middleware, but it was developed by the same guys that did loads of games including MGS and Resident evil - http://www.ideaworks3d.com/games/index.html, and it has more gameplay than a lot of other games on the deck.

  • goingGOne

    Don't know why people keep saying its a tech demo... Sure it has been published by a company that makes console middleware, but it was developed by the same guys that did loads of games including MGS and Resident evil - http://www.ideaworks3d.com/games/index.html, and it has more gameplay than a lot of other games on the deck.

  • Marcus

    The game is absolutely fantastic, and has managed to keep me engaged for over an hour. Now I know there are loads of other great 99c games, but cmon, this is as great as Home Run Battle, which remains on my springboard despite being 'repititive'. The graphics are amazing, and if these guys didn't make any games for other consoles you guys wouldn't be bashing them so hard..right?

    • podtastic

      I would agree with that... Any one posting scores to facebook? Didn't notice that to start with but am now in a little league with my friends.. EAT MY GOLDEN HELMET STEVE!!

  • Marcus

    The game is absolutely fantastic, and has managed to keep me engaged for over an hour. Now I know there are loads of other great 99c games, but cmon, this is as great as Home Run Battle, which remains on my springboard despite being 'repititive'. The graphics are amazing, and if these guys didn't make any games for other consoles you guys wouldn't be bashing them so hard..right?

    • podtastic

      I would agree with that... Any one posting scores to facebook? Didn't notice that to start with but am now in a little league with my friends.. EAT MY GOLDEN HELMET STEVE!!

  • er0k26

    Love the game, but my phone runs so hot with app on my phone. I've had poor battery life with it too. Anybody having problems?

  • er0k26

    Love the game, but my phone runs so hot with app on my phone. I've had poor battery life with it too. Anybody having problems?

  • wegmans

    what can i do to convince people to get this game?

    It's absolutely fantastic, and man the graphics are PS2 quality... has anyone taken a close look at the crowd? each person is animated, it's not just some 2D image back there...

    I wonder if we'll ever see updates? I wish you could pick real teams, or jersey numbers 00-99

  • wegmans

    what can i do to convince people to get this game?

    It's absolutely fantastic, and man the graphics are PS2 quality... has anyone taken a close look at the crowd? each person is animated, it's not just some 2D image back there...

    I wonder if we'll ever see updates? I wish you could pick real teams, or jersey numbers 00-99

  • cookiemonster

    so is this the new "best football game" on the app store now or what?!

  • cookiemonster

    so is this the new "best football game" on the app store now or what?!

  • http://www.touch-aholics.blogspot.com Jarrett

    I think that it is a great app, especially for football fans. The graphics are AWESOME!!!!! No cardboard crowd for this game!! Lots of fun and addicting! Hope for more updates too!

  • http://www.touch-aholics.blogspot.com Jarrett

    I think that it is a great app, especially for football fans. The graphics are AWESOME!!!!! No cardboard crowd for this game!! Lots of fun and addicting! Hope for more updates too!