capsule review

iPhone apps for the Super Bowl

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Best in Field: Not only does Backbreaker Football give you a player’s eye view of the action, the game also uses the iPhone’s accelerometer to control your running back.

Backbreaker Football has the same premise as Speedback—navigate your running back into the end zone and away from those rage-fueled behemoths that want to hurt him so—but the execution in NaturalMotion’s game is ridiculously better. For starters, instead of an overhead view, you’ve got a first-person perspective, which makes the action feel more exciting and immediately—especially when one of those ill-intentioned tacklers lumbers into view. More impressive, Backbreaker Football exploits the iPhone’s accelerometer, making you control the running back by tilting your mobile device. It’s a really brilliant approach that further sucks you into the game.

The only on-screen controls allow you to spin, juke, and sprint. And you’ll need each one of those to elude your on-screen pursuers and rack up bonus points. There’s also a Showboat button you can tap and hold to perform moves that Deion Sanders would find shamefully boastful, racking up further bonus points. And while the sportsman in me feels like I should tut-tut that feature, the game player in me really gets a kick out of high-stepping into the end zone while my fallen foe watches helplessly.

Backbreaker features challenge and endurance modes at three difficulty levels to keep the gameplay fresh. It’s not a flawless game—Backbreaker football uses far too many interstitial videos and replays for my tastes (though you’re able to skip them). And this grumpy old man didn’t much care for the hard-rock soundtrack that you can only turn down or override with your own iTunes library.

Still, Backbreaker Football is a terrific game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Should the action begin to wane on Sunday, it’s the first app I’ll be reaching for. And it’s going to stay on my iPhone long into the off-season.

[As far as Macworld.com executive editor is concerned, the big game on Sunday involves Chelsea and Arsenal.]

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder A+ Superbowl Commercials

  • Generic Company Place Holder Backbreaker Football

  • Generic Company Place Holder Field Goal Frenzy™ Football - The Classic Arcade Field Goal Kicking Game

  • Generic Company Place Holder iFootball™ by JIRBO

  • Generic Company Place Holder JIRBO Paper Football

  • Generic Company Place Holder Speedback™ Football

  • Generic Company Place Holder Super Bowl Food

  • Generic Company Place Holder Super Bowl XLIV Official NFL Game Program

  • Generic Company Place Holder X's & O's Football®

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