If you're familiar with Backbreaker 2: Vengeance, NFL Rivals won't really be that new to you. Everything is basically the same: the controls, the gamplay, and to a degree the graphics. However, the app's maker, NaturalMotion Games, has made one change that makes this a lot better than the previous two: incorporating actual NFL teams.
NFL Rivals isn't football in the style of the Madden series since you only control a single player. This gives the game an arcade feel along with making it more appealing for casual gamers. Tilting your iDevice side to side controls your player's left and right directions while tilting forward and back controls how fast he runs. On screen controls allow you to juke, spin, jump, truck, or sprint to avoid approaching tacklers and obstacles. If your player does get tackled, a slow motion replay follows so you can watch brutal hits again and again.
NFL Rivals includes two modes of play: Offense and Defense. Both feature obstacles to truck under or jump over, zones you can run through to receive more points, five lives per level, and out of bounds areas. In Offensive mode you attempt to reach the end zone in each level without being tackled or running out of time. Once you juke and spin your way past all tacklers, the truck and sprint buttons are replaced with buttons to gain extra points by showboating the rest of the way to the end zone.
If you get fed up with being tackled and want to dish out some pain yourself, switch to Defensive mode. Instead of running for the end zone, your goal is to stop an opposing player before he scores a touchdown. The sound and graphics of NFL Rivals also make taking down another player amazingly realistic and satisfying.
Everything gets you points in NFL Rivals: tackling, juking, sharing on Facebook, choosing your player's number, opening the app, etc. All the points you receive not only go to help your own personal ranking, but that of your team as well. This is one of the greatest things about this game. I mean, come on, which football fan doesn't like to see their team on top of the standings? Teams are ranked by division, total points, offensive points, defensive points, amount of players or fans, and the average score of fans. The NFL integration doesn't stop there: the levels mirror your team's schedule and an additional "Gameday" mode lets you earn bonus points when playing on days your favorite team actually has a game.
While lovers of NaturalMotion's Backbreaker series may be slightly upset because NFL Rivals is Backbreaker 2 with the NFL features added, they will hopefully buy it anyway as just this addition makes the game a whole lot better. NFL Rivals is the perfect game for anyone who loves football and iOS games.
AppPicker Rating: 5 / 5 Stars
Pick It Up in the App Store: NFL Rivals
Other apps by NaturalMotion Games