App Review: Backbreaker 2: Vengeance

It’s NFL playoff time, so I thought it would only be fair to do a football game review! Backbreaker 2: Vengeance (iTunes link), $0.99 USD, is the sequel to Backbreaker Football. They are both football games developed by Natural Motion Games Limited (Natural Motion for short). Backbreaker 2 offers updated controls, gameplay and graphics to improve upon its predecessor, Backbreaker.

Gameplay and Controls

Natural Motion did a great job on the gameplay of Backbreaker 2. Continuing on with the simplicity of Backbreaker’s gameplay, they added one more new mode. The gameplay and controls changed very little however, which is a good thing as I was already comfortable with the previous controls.

In Backbreaker 2, there are 2 modes of gameplay. They differ from each other slightly. The two modes are “Tackle Alley” and “Vengeance.” In “Tackle Alley” mode you are the punt returner [or receiver] and your mission is simple, you must bring the ball to the end zone. On your way you’ll face many obstacles. You must hurdle over the hurdles that say ‘jump’ on them and juke, spin, truck or avoid any defensive players or fences that try to bring you down. Backbreaker one only had “Tackle Alley,” but you couldn’t jump or truck.

This is an example of Tackle Alley in Backbreaker 2

Vengeance mode takes you where the original Backbreaker didn’t. You take the place of the person who stopped you. You become the defensive player. You must chase down the ball carrier and take him down! This is easier said than done as you still have to juke, spin, and avoid the offensive blockers than can easily end your mission.

The two modes of gameplay in Backbreaker 2

The controls of Backbreaker 2 are easy to use and understand. Before you begin playing, the controls are explained to you on the loading screen. Since there are 2 modes of gameplay, there are 2 sets of controls. However, they differ only slightly from each other with one small change. Your truck button, once you unlock it, becomes the tackle button in Vengeance. The buttons are nicely spaced out and it’s hard to press the wrong button. You tilt to move which makes the game feel that much more natural on the iOS platform.

The control scheme in Backbreaker 2 is the same as the original game. These are the controls for “Vengeance” mode.

The gameplay has changed slightly in Backbreaker 2, but adds more of a challenge to the first Backbreaker. Minor changes make the game that much more exciting as you juke, spin, truck and jump your way to a touchdown! The game has an arcade feel to it that makes it more action packed and exciting than simulation games. The controls seem so natural to the touch, I wouldn’t change them for anything. Backbreaker 2′s gameplay and controls are perfect in just about every aspect.

Gameplay and Controls: ★★★★★

Presentation and Graphics

The menus and graphics in Backbreaker 2 are just gorgeous and beautiful. The animations, collisions, and details are just spectacular.

The menus are simple and easy to navigate. I had no problems figuring out what everything was and how they worked. The menus allowed me to enter the game quickly and smoothly. Within a few taps, I was on my way to breaking tackles and laying out my enemies.

The menus in Backbreaker 2 are simple

The graphics take a turn for the better with the update and it shows. There is a huge improvement in the graphics. They look gorgeous and beautiful; jaw-dropping in a way. They are crisp and clear. Every detail can be seen with this level of graphics. You can see every spin, juke, truck, jump, tackle and block in slow motion during the game. The animations and collision look so realistic in the game compared to other football games. Gameloft and EA could learn a thing or two from Natural Motion as their animations and collisions seem ragdoll-like.

The graphics in Backbreaker 2 are jaw-dropping

Similar to the predecessor, there are replays at the end of every tackle, block, stop, and touchdown. These replays show what happened in slow motion. They look beautiful and are done from the best angles.

A replay of me laying out my opponent! He won’t be getting up after this hit!

The presentation and graphics in this game are flawless. They look perfect to the touch. Natural Motion definitely pushes the graphics closer to the hardware’s limit, and it shows.

Presentation and Graphics: ★★★★★


When you first start the game you hear the background music (BGM) start up. I liked the BGM in the original Backbreaker a lot better as it was faster paced and louder. It got me into the “football mood”. However, the music in this game doesn’t get me in the mood to play football. It is not fast enough, nor is it as exciting. They do make up for this as you can have a custom BGM playing your music. You simply have to start playing your music before starting the game. You’ll still get the sound effects when you play your custom BGM.

The sound effects in this game are perfect and add more to the arcade feel of the game. You can hear every grunt, tackle, jump, spin and juke in the game. Other ‘breathing’ sound effects make you seem like you are running faster than you actually are. The sound effects in the game are absolutely perfect.

The BGM in this game could use some work as they didn’t seem right to me. This may be different for others, but they didn’t fly for me. The sound effects were the opposite, they made the game more fun and exciting.

Audio: ★★★★½

Replay Value

Backbreaker 2 does offer lots of replay value. The game itself is addictive, really addictive, especially if you love football. If you love football, you’ll love this game and you’ll play it over and over again. This is a great pick-up-and-play game. The 2 modes of play add lots of replay value to this game. There is a lot of game to play as there are 10 challenges per mode; making a total of 20 challenges. Each challenge contains a number of ‘missions’ too (The game doesn’t call them missions, I do). Although the game is long, it could use some more levels and challenges. The game doesn’t have any difficulty levels however. As you progress through the game, it becomes more rigorous. The leaderboards and achievements are plentiful and could keep anyone busy for hours.

Replay Value: ★★★★½

Value for the Money

At $0.99 USD* this game is an absolute steal! The gorgeous graphics, long gameplay, and quality of the game don’t add up to $0.99; they add up to a lot more. You get lots for your buck here as it is just fun to play and there aren’t any other games like this in the App Store (except for Backbreaker Football). Definitely worth every cent you pay for it.

Value for the Money: ★★★★★

Final Thoughts

Backbreaker 2: Vengeance is a great update from Backbreaker Football, both developed by Natural Motion. The game brings even more complexity to the table with the addition of trucks, jumps, and ‘Vengeance’ mode. This fun, addictive and exciting game has gorgeous, jaw-dropping graphics that are well worth its $0.99 USD* price tag. A must-buy for any football fan.

Final Scores:

  • Gameplay and Controls: ★★★★★
  • Presentation and Graphics: ★★★★★
  • Audio: ★★★★½
  • Replay Value: ★★★★½
  • Value for the Money: ★★★★★

Overall Score:

* Prices and availability may vary by country.

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