Remember when you were a kid and you went down to the local playground to shoot hoops on the blacktop or get together a game of football out on the field? Thats the spirit of Backyard Sports: easy-to-play sports games that are geared toward kids, with junior versions of their favorite NBA, WNBA, and NFL stars thrown in for fun.
Best of all, the Backyard Sports titles are easy to learn. You or your kids can play these games on any Mac, including your familys iMac or iBook. And Backyard Football 2002 and Backyard Basketball are on store shelves both virtual and physical year round, so your kids can still enjoy their favorite sports long after the Super Bowl and the NBA and WNBA Finals are over.
For the Fun of it
Backyard Sports set out to capture what its like to play sports when youre a kid in the backyard or sandlot, says game designer Rafael Calonzo. We concentrate on what makes a sport fun, and throw out everything else. Calonzo is part of Humongous Entertainment, the developer of both games.
Humongous Backyard Football: Go team, go!
Both Backyard Football 2002 and Backyard Basketball feature basic, cartoon-like animation and simple gameplay that can be handled with a mouse or keyboard. Or, add-on a USB gamepad for an even more immersive experience.
And if your kids want to dig deeper, both games offer league play, complete with championships at the end of the season (Backyard Footballs Gridiron Grits Cereal Bowl and Backyard Basketballs Splendiferous Basketball Championship of all Backyards Ever trophy), customizable players, fields and courts, and plenty of stats to pore over.
In addition to pint-size versions of real athletes the NBAs Kevin Garnett, the WNBAs Lisa Leslie, and several players from the NFL, including Brett Favre, Ricky Williams, and Donovan McNabb both games feature the Backyard Kids: 30 children of all sizes, colors, and physical abilities. When you assemble your team at the beginning of the game, you choose from the kids as well as the pro athletes, who arent necessarily the best players in the game.
The Backyard Kids are very genuine, says lead programmer Ben Young. They have individual strengths, foibles, and stories that make you say I know someone just like that. Learning the kids personalities and knowing which ones to pick for your team strategy is a fun part of the game; adult sports games tend to have players that are just collections of stats.
Games For All the Shorties Out There|
So what do the professional athletes featured in the games think of becoming pint-size players in the Backyard Sports leagues?
I only got to meet Kevin Garnett in person, says Calonzo, but he was really hyped to be immortalized as a Backyard Kid. He thought it was cool that we make games for all the shorties out there.
All Humongous releases are on hybrid CDs, which means that the Mac and PC versions of their games come on the same disc and in the same game box on store shelves. Be sure to visit your local Apple retail store, the online Apple Store, or an Apple authorized reseller and look for Backyard Football 2002 and Backyard Basketball.
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