Backyard Sports series
Backyard Sports is a series of video games that play on both consoles and computers. The series is best known for starring kid-sized versions of popular professional sports stars, such as Albert Pujols, Paul Pierce, Barry Bonds, Tim Duncan, Clint Mathis, Kevin Garnett, Tom Brady, Alex Rodriguez, Joe Thornton and Andy Macdonald. The Backyard Sports series is the only game brand licensed by all the leading professional US sports leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLS).
The series includes Backyard Baseball, Backyard Basketball, Backyard Football (American football), Backyard Soccer, Backyard Hockey (Ice hockey), and Backyard Skateboarding. In the games, players form a team consisting of Backyard Kids and pro players, which they take through a "Backyard League" season, attempting to become the champions.
The games evoke or supplant childhood memories for its players by recreating the types of sports fields seen in suburban parks and recreational areas.
Players can create their own athletes, starting in Backyard Football (1999). Players choose from silly nicknames such as "Sparkles" or "Spaz," customize physical attributes such as hair color and height, and then distribute skill points as desired. However, since the game cannot pronounce the names of the player, the player's crazy nickname will instead be said.
Another aspect of the games is the imaginative use of Power-Ups, allowing players to gain wacky "super-abilities." For instance, "Super Dunk" allows a basketball player to make an incredible dunk from nearly anywhere on the court, "Leap Frog" allows a football player to jump over the entire defensive line, and "Ice Cream Truck" causes the other team to be completely distracted for a brief period of time.
All of the Backyard Sports games take place in the Junior Sports Neighborhood, with the exception of parts of Backyard Skateboarding, Backyard Hockey 2005, and Backyard Skateboarding: Game of the Year Edition.
Some of these games are playable with ScummVM emulator.
The series began in the late 1990s, with Backyard Baseball and Backyard Soccer. Neither game had players from the MLB or MLS, respectively, but were moderately successful in their time.
With the release of Backyard Hockey, the new character designs for each of the Backyard Kids was introduced, with older and edgier kids along with improved graphics. The series has changed radically over time, which evokes resentment from the people who grew up with the series, as the art design has become drastically different and some of the key characters are no longer in the series.
In 2004 Atari announced it was creating a fresh new look and gameplay experience for the franchise with the release of Backyard Skateboarding and featured Andy MacDonald and Tony Hawk. They stated that it is a completely new take on a longtime favorite franchise with all-new features, updated graphics, enhanced gameplay, and extensive options that will keep players and gamers alike enthusiastically entertained. The game was released at the end of May 2010 and received favourable reviews on family oriented websites. Common Sense Media gave the game five stars and GeekDad on the Wired website called it a lot of fun.
List of games
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Some games, notably console versions have completely distinct gameplay than Windows/Mac version with same title, thus they're listed separately.
Template:Infobox video gam Grab your bat and ball and head out to a dusty deserted area for a game of old-fashioned pick-up in Humongous Entertainment's Backyard Baseball. Aimed at a young crowd, this game features 2 kids as players to choose from as you assemble the ultimate neighborhood club and try for the Ultra Grand Championship of the Universe.
Select your team name and colors as well as its mascot, and then choose your starting line-up. Among the colorful cast of characters are ace pitcher Angela Delvecchio and top slugger Pablo Sanchez. Every kid is rated in running, batting, fielding, and pitching and has personality quirks that may affect the team. For example, Maria Luna is an average player whose skills explode if she's placed on a team whose uniforms are pink, her favorite color. Once you're done with that, you choose the batting order and the players' spots on the field. To get ready for the season, you can play some batting practice or exhibition contests to get warmed up. There are ten fields to choose from. Sunny Day and Vinnie "The Gooch" provide play-by-play commentary for each game as you march through the season and get ready for the playoffs. Power-ups are awarded if you strike out a batter or get a hit off a tough pitcher; they will boost your bats and pitchers' arms and can be used anytime during the game. On defense, there are 12 pitches to choose from, including the wacky change-up the Big Freeze, which blazes through the air before freezing when it reaches the plate, and the Crazy Ball, which moves in any direction but straight as it barrels toward the batter. You can track and print statistics during the 14-game season and into the playoffs. Player baseball cards, team photos, schedules, and trophies can also be printed.
Now kids can play soccer on their own level in Humongous Entertainment's Backyard Soccer. They can select from 30 different characters to populate their team and play on one of 20 unique fields in one of three skill levels using nothing more than a mouse to control the action, which is announced by Earl Grey and Sunny Day.
Once they have their team assembled, they can customize it with a name of their own and uniforms of their choosing. If they want to practice, they can head out on the field to try their hand at attempting or defending penalty kicks. Once that's finished, they can head out on the field for a friendly match or sit back and watch the computer play out a game in Spectator mode. If they think they're up to it, they can then enter league play by clicking on the bulletin board in the clubhouse screen. This will take them to a set-up area where they can decide on their team's strategy, take a look at the schedule, check out the latest league statistics, and even glance through their trophy case. Once they're finished, it's time to head out on the field in their quest for the Astonishingly Shiny Cup of All Cups. The journey begins in the first season, during which their team may be invited to the Off the Wall Indoor Invitational if they're good enough. If they finish as one of the top two teams in the league, they move on to the A Division. From there they can jump to the Premiere Division, where, if they're good enough, they make get the chance to compete in the Astonishingly Shiny Cup of All Cups World Tournament. Along the way they can earn trophies for the case in the clubhouse, and at any time they can save the action and return to it later. This game is for one player only.