Want personalized picks that fit your family?
Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.
Backyard Sports: Rookie Rush
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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.
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?
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
For kids who love sports games
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.