Backyard sports was one of the most popular sports video game series that came out of the late 90s making itself onward into the 2000s and 2010s and loved by the casual gamer and the young at heart sports gamer. Humongous Entertainment captured the atmosphere of playing your favorite past time sports with neighborhood kids in alleys, ballparks, rec centers, and the school yard playgrounds in a more colorful and cartoonish world. drafting your team roster from a cast of both backyard kids with unique personalities and backgrounds but also kid versions of your favorite pro athletes that played or still play the sport. fast-paced powered up arcade action with lite simulation like team management and season mode leading your team to victory was certainly the fun of the series.
Starting off with Backyard Baseball on pc (with no MLB licenses til 2001) it quickly grew in popularity to acquire many licenses of many major professional sports leagues in america as well its professional players of said leagues. and went on to create other sports games for Computers and consoles ranging from Baseball, American Football, Basketball, Soccer, and Skateboarding. then in 2002, Infogram and Humongous Entertainment decide to faceoff with the NHL to create Backyard hockey.
like any formula followed in the Backyard Sports series, players create their own teams choosing from more than 30 "neighborhood kids" who each have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Players may also choose from several National Hockey League hockey players as children, such as Steve Yzerman, Mike Modano, Joe Sakic, Jaromír Jágr, Jarome Iginla, Martin Brodeur, and Curtis Joseph. and play fast paced 3 on 3 ice hockey with on ice powerups and rock, paper, scissor fights that swings the momentum of the game. commentary is provided by the all-around Backyard sports league commentator, Sunny day and colorful commentator of the sport, Buddy cheque (his name is a play on body check). in season mode the player managing their roster and battle though BHL season game after game dominating the ponds and ice rinks til they reach to final game of the season and win the Clanky Cup.
in 2004 Atari release its next hockey installment: Backyard Hockey 2005 the gameplay and replayability in its season mode is the same but also made the jump to 3d even with titles like Backyard Baseball 2005, Backyard NBA Basketball, Backyard Baseball 2006, and Backyard Skateboarding. The backyard sports games have been fun when it came to any sport, even hockey. sadly things were not looking good for atari, and Humongous Entertainment as backyard sports was going into the decades of the late 2000s it will be backyard sports last hockey entry of the series.
On 2007, Backyard hockey came out on the Nintendo DS, it was the last hockey game in the backyard sports series going forward.
Backyard sports was a fun game franchise with unique gameplay, atmosphere, and a cast of characters and real athletes and offered a lot to come back to and play. Unfortunately, the series in recent memory has been a victim of many things that happened in the 2010s from Humongous Entertainment given its rights to developers and publishers that later on merged or went bankrupt to the BYS franchise rights itself being bought and held hostage to this day after their 2015 mobile games that was meant to be a plan to relaunch the series but didn't see any return.
If there is one sports game series i missed the most, it was backyard sports.