North American cover art for the PlayStation version
|Developer(s)||Humongous Entertainment (PC)
Infogrames (PlayStation and MLS Edition)
|Series||Backyard Sports series|
Backyard Soccer, known in Europe as Junior Sports Football, is an association football video game in the Backyard Sports series, developed by Humongous Entertainment and published by Infogrames. It was first released in 1998 for the Mac, PC, the PlayStation in 2001, and iOS in 2008.
The player selects a team, aiming to win promotion from the "B" Division, to the "A" and then Premier Division. If in the top four by mid-season in any division, the player's team will be invited to the Off-The-Wall Indoor Invitational. After winning the Premier Division, the player's team will be invited to represent the United States in the Astonishingly Shiny Cup of All Cups Tournament (a spoof of the FIFA World Cup). Regardless of the tournament's outcome, the player's team will be placed back in the Premier Division for another chance at the Cup.
There are several power-ups that a team can use. To activate a power-up, the player has to click on the opponent's goal.
- Cannon—The player launches a fast and powerful shot
- Underground—The ball goes underground and pops up in a random place.
- Bowling Ball—The ball transforms into a giant bowling ball knocking over any opposing players.
- Tracer—The ball is controlled using the cursor. The player clicks where he or she wants the ball to go.
Backyard Soccer received moderate reviews. Its gameplay was criticized for the hard-to-use controls for the PC version and long loading time, while its graphics were praised on all platforms. Brad Cook of Allgame stated for the PC version, "when it comes to their Backyard Sports series, though, I think they missed the boat in one really crucial area: game controls."
- Cook, Brad. "Backyard Soccer (PC)". Allgame. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
- Beam, Jennifer. "Backyard Soccer (PS)". Allgame. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
- "Backyard Soccer MLS Edition - PC - Review". GameZone. 25 October 2000. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
- "Backyard Soccer - PSX - Review". 28 October 2001. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
- "Backyard Soccer for PS". GameRankings. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
- Junior Sports Football game review, Official UK PlayStation Magazine, Future Publishing issue 80
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