A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The game shows great racial diversity in the cast player kids. There are plenty of female "kid" players thrown in with, not just the little boys, but the real-life NFL big boys as well.
Positive Role Models
After a touchdown or a good tackle, players dance and showboat for the crowd. Also, by hitting button combos, you can "taunt" the opposing team's kicker and mess up their field goal attempts. No actual taunting is heard during this, though.
Ease of Play
Playing the game can be very in-depth, choosing formation, using time outs strategically, setting up zone defenses -- but it doesn't need to be. Younger kids, or those with no real knowledge of the intricacies of football can do quite well with only a few basic commands.
Violence & Scariness
Some tackles, especially those amped up by power-ups, can send players flying through the air and landing with thuds. No one looks hurt afterward, though.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Not an issue.
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Not an issue.
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Products & Purchases
There are over 30 real-life NFL players in the game (in cartoony kid form) and the logos of both the league and its teams are all over the game. The commentators occasionally do quick advertisements for fake products, like peanut butter hot dogs. They are played up for humor.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Not an issue.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this cartoony, kid-friendly sports sim caters nicely to younger gamers. It never gets overly technical and focuses on the fun of the sport. There's a lot going on within the game to sell the NFL, though -- more so than in previous incarnations of Backyard Football. Still, this is a game kids play for the love of football, not for lots of bells and whistles -- because there aren't many. It's simple, but in a very good way.
Is It Any Good?
Backyard Football '10 is as fun as it is easy to pick up. Older kids who relish the realism of the Madden football games will likely find this one too childish. But younger gamers will be easily wooed by its bright colors, simple control scheme, and silly humor (the endearingly dimwitted commentator will elicit plenty of laughs from the SpongeBob set). The new ability to play cooperatively is a very welcome addition to the series. Kids playing football sims have longed to pass the ball to one another -- finally the have the chance.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.