Backyard Hockey (2002) is the first game in the Backyard Hockey series of games. It is a fun ice hockey game played in a three versus three mode. It takes a playful approach to ice hockey, so it is not as realistic or as detailed as NHL 2002 and other hockey simulation games.
You can use one of the 30 NHL teams or you can build your own custom Backyard Hockey team. The NHL teams are made up of generic team members and not real professional hockey players. You select your custom team members from 30 kids in your neighborhood. The kids have various abilities. You can see their shooting rating, passing rating, skating rating, defending rating and goalkeeping rating. You can also pick from ten professional hockey players in their childhood. You can create a player if you want.
Before a game begins, you select a strategy for your team. There are three difficulty levels. While playing the game, random powerups will appear at the center. You try to use your players to secure those powerups before your opponent. These powerups provide various advantages like making the ice slushy for your opponents or causing all opponent players to fall over. A scoreboard screen shows up whenever a goal is scored, when there is a penalty and when it is half-time. Penalties are rarely called in Backyard Hockey.
There is a random rock-paper-scissors mode that comes up during some play stoppages. You choose one of rock, paper and scissors. If your team loses, the opposing team gets a penalty. Unlike other hockey videogames, there is no fighting.
You can play competitive matches, pick-up games and a season. There is a practice 3 to 1 mode that allows you to hone your skills. There is also a ‘Meet the Players’ mode that allows you to view a background info of the players in the game. Matches could be 2, 4 or 6 minutes long. The game has 6 hockey rinks with two commentators. Four hockey rinks are unlocked at the beginning, so you have to unlock the two remaining ones later. Various uniforms are available for players of each team to wear. The game tracks the stats of players and teams for a professional and realistic feel. Backyard Hockey supports two player link, so two players can play against each other.
Skating in the game feels very nice and tight. You don’t feel the slippery ice beneath you as you race with the puck, weaving between defenders to score a goal. Passing and scoring are quite easy with simple controls. Backyard Hockey has a bonus air hockey mode. The air hockey table can have as many as three pucks at once. The air hockey mode also supports two player link.
- Enjoy hockey on the portable Game Boy Advance
- Two player link supported
- Lovely hockey experience
- Lovely presentation
- Bonus air hockey mode
- Only ten licensed NHL hockey players
- Not as realistic as some may want
Backyard Hockey is a light-hearted fun volleyball game that is accessible to people of all ages. But if you are looking for a realistic hockey simulation video game, you will have to look elsewhere.
Download Backyard Hockey
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP