Backyard Sports: Rookie Rush

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Backyard Sports: Rookie Rush Game Poster Image
Clean, simple kids' football sim with a fun story.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The game promotes physical fitness, not just through its positive representation of sports and exercise in the game, but also with load-screen comments suggesting outdoor activities for kids to try. The teams are an even mix of boys and girls, and feature children of varying body types and ethnicities. Good sportsmanship is also mentioned as an important part of any team-based game. That last message is skewed slightly by the end-zone dances in the game.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Aside from being a little showboaty after they score touchdowns, the characters in the game are all smart, friendly, active kids who generally exhibit good sportsmanship. It’s hard to find much fault with this likable and very earnest gang of kids.

Ease of Play

Simplified playbooks mean football novices can find their way into the strategies pretty easily. The controls are nicely laid out and work very smoothly.

Violence & Scariness

Some of the tackles are comically over-the-top, with players flying through the air like rag dolls. If you use the fantasy power-ups, you might see an exploding “bomb ball.”


This game is the latest entry in the growing Backyard Sports franchise. The previous game Backyard Sports: Sandlot Sluggers is referenced in some of the dialogue.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Backyard Sports: Rookie Rush is a kid-friendly football game with colorful characters and healthy messages that promote physical fitness and good sportsmanship. As it is aimed at young kids, the football here has been simplified a bit (for example, there are only a handful of plays to choose from in any given situation), but such simplification keeps the action moving and prevents novice players from getting lost in a sea of details.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 17-year-old Written byzamarias game April 20, 2011

perfect for tweens and younger ages

i think that this is just going to be just the best game ever i love it

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's it about?

While BACKYARD SPORTS: ROOKIE RUSH allows you to play quick one-off football games or multiplayer tournaments, it also has a deep story mode. The plotline involves a contest in which the best local football player will get his or her photo on the cover of the next Backyard Sports video game. On your path to stardom, you’ll face off against all the other kid-teams in town, recruiting the captain of each team you defeat, until you have the ultimate all-star team and can win the big award. The characters here are the same kids from last year’s baseball game, Sandlot Sluggers.

Is it any good?

Backyard Sports: Rookie Rush is another phenomenal entry from what is arguably the best sports series out there for young kids. The franchise's new focus (which began with Sandlot Sluggers) on storytelling and original characters, rather than gimmicky child versions of pro athletes, continues to reward players with a fabulously fun experience. The graphics are clean and colorful; the commentary is very funny; and the controls are smooth and easy to use. Gamers looking for a deep, detail-laden football experience should stick to true-life sims like Madden NFL 11, but in terms of pure entertainment value, Rookie Rush has definitely got what it takes. Sure, the playbook is pretty shallow, and the cartoony power-ups seem like an unnecessary gimmick, but the fun factor is undeniable. It would have been nice to see a little more variation from the format of the Sandlot Sluggers game, but the similarity between the two is actually mocked as an in-game in-joke. And that kind of humor only makes the game more likable.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether or not the game inspires them to get active for real. Is a video game that tells kids to go outside and play sending a mixed message? How do you feel about active gaming?

  • The girl characters in this game are on par with the boys as far as being strong, capable athletes. What kind of message does this send to boys and girls playing at home?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sports games

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