Backbreaker Football for Nokia N8

Backbreaker Football for Nokia N8 review

Backbreaker Football has landed on the Ovi Store, available for the Nokia N8 and other Symbian^3 devices at long last. The game was and still is popular on the App Store and they enjoyed success, which is probably why they decided to give it a go on the Ovi Store – as of today, it’s there. Backbreaker Football has an action take on the American Footabll sport, as it puts you ‘in the shoulderpads’ so to speak, rather than a 3rd person perspective on the game making it more action and less strategy, although you will need both if you want to conquer the game.


Backbreaker is an excellent game for the first five or so games, but then you come to the start realization that it’s becomes rather repetitive, in every aspect. Every team has the same playbook, no matter what their styles are; every team can be beaten pretty much by aggressive defence. You are able to select a few defensive audibles, however the opponents never really react to them, making it rather useless and aesthetically pleasing.

This isn’t to say that Breakbreaker isn’t a good game or do some really cool stuff, because it really does. The very concept of the game alone was quite a nifty idea: Rather than keep you suspended over the action using a overview camera, Backbreaker puts you in the with mix of things on a low-level first person style. This makes for action rather than strategy, which isn’t a bad thing.

The end result is that it offers a game that feels more personal. For example when you drop back as a quarterback to look for someone to pass to, your vision is obscured by the line of scrimmage and the linebacker who are oncoming very quickly. When you’re making a run for it, you will see shadows approach from behind in the camera, that shakes with your run. It gives you sense of urgency about your moves, which a lot of games clearly lack.

The interesting thing with Backbreaker, is it’s intensity is in part added by NaturalMotion’s own Euphoria engine, a physics system that apparently generates animations on the fly “based on a full simulation of the 3D character, including body, muscles and motor nervous system.” Basically, it’s ragdoll-like physics, meaning no two tackles will be alike.

As Backbreaker are able to generate every tackle from scratch on-the-fly, it doesn’t rely on pre-fabricated animations. There are a few hitches here and there, but this system works very effectively. Some of the hits you take too are quite bone crunching.

It’s an intense, action-packed football game with some great graphics that are generated as they happen. Even people such as myself who don’t even like American football, the game makes for a fun and enjoyable game which is done by the various advantages the game gives as mentioned above.

The game boasts a standard League mode where you are able to take one team and lead them to victory in a football season – much like Fifa 2011, but in terms of American football. EA has the rights to the names of the teams, so NaturalMotion has come up with their own inventive names, such as the Seattle Wolves and New Jersey Pirates.

You may initially think that the League mode seems rather deep as you can scout hundreds of promising young college players for your team; you can maintain a backup team of three or four people deep for every position. It brings you in to feel as though the game is something you can really get in to, but then, it hits you… Players do not get injured of fatigued, so swapping players in and out will have little effects and having a backup bench is totally worthless other than for aesthetics.

All in all, the game is a great time-passer and does have depth, character and uniqueness, but at the same time that depth is made much more shallow by its sheer lack of must-haves for these types of games. If they add these in future updates, the game will definitely be more worthy of the money it charges – even at the moment i’d say it’s worth the few cans of Coke that it costs.

Price: €3.00 / £3.00
Download: Download Backbreaker Football for Nokia N8