“Return Man 4” is actually officially called “Linebacker”
“Return Man 4/Linebacker” is a continuation of the popular ESPN Arcade, free American football flash game, “Return Man”.
But this time, there is a twist; you are not playing as a “Return Man”, you get to play on the offensive as a “Linebacker”.
A linebacker’s main job is to attack the running back and prevent him from making the touchdown.
How does “Return Man 4/Linebacker” compare to the original “Return Man”?
So, is “Return Man 4/Linebacker” better than the original “Return Man” series?
I’ll leave it to you to make that judgement.
But I can tell you that this new version may be a little more difficult than the previous “Return Man” games; because, as we said earlier, you have one main objective; prevent the running back from making a touchdown, by tackling him.
But, you have to do all this while avoiding 4 or more defenders from tackling you.
If you don’t tackle the running back before he gets to the end zone to make a touchdown, you lose a “defensive stand”.
Your “defensive stand” is represented by a series of helmets at the top of your screen. These are your “lives”.
The game starts with 4 remaining “defensive stands”.
This time round, the players are running towards you, and all of them are out to tackle you, except the running back who is carrying the football to make a touchdown.
So how do you play Return Man 4/Linebacker?
Once again the Return Man 4/Linebacker game is entirely flash based; you control your player using your computer keyboard.
Use the “I” keyboard key to move your player forward, while simultaneously using the “J” keyboard key to dodge or run left and the “L” keyboard key to dodge or run right, the “K” keyboard key to move backward and the “Space bar” to dive tackle.
When the referee blows the whistle to start the game, the blockers start running towards you. Your work is to dodge them while keeping your eye on the running back who is headed straight for your end zone.
Just to show you how much you need it, a lightning bolt appears on your screen to give you a speed burst while dodging.
As usual, special moves must be earned and are controlled using the “A” key for the “Swim” special move, the “S” key for the “Shuck” special move and the “D” key for the “Bull Rush” special move.
Each special move can only be used once per “defensive stand”. Previous version of the game you can play on the official blog.