NBA Live Mobile Review

NBA Live Mobile Review

Jul 28, 2016

NBA Live Mobile. From Electronic Arts.

Yes, we’re on board.

This one is brightly done, with sharp colors and fine animations. Menus are visually descriptive, and the players generally conform to real life sizes and facial appearances. EA has a reputation in design, and mostly lives up to it here.

Off the bat, it’s important to note that this isn’t one’s usual basketball simulation; it doesn’t have current-ish NBA rosters in place for players to select a familiar and/or favorite team from. It isn’t really a management strategy game either, as there isn’t a traditional salary cap to contend with.

Instead, it’s more like a multi-mode sports RPG with NBA players in the mix, remixing teams from the start. After selecting a franchise, one gets a bunch of players divvied up into a few “lineups” with unique abilities.
Adding in Zach Lavine for the dunking lesson is savvy, as is tossing in Steph Curry for the special abilities tutorial.


One can get into game challenges, or look to go against other folks, or engage in a seriously abbreviated season; mostly, he goal is to win resources and unlock players. Then, with some savvy trading and acquisitions, one can build a super team of sorts.

The action segment is fairly well done; it goes 5v5 with current players in one’s lineup, and onscreen virtual buttons control the movements and actions of the players. There are a set of defensive actions, and when possessions change, one gets

Ah, but just when one gets into it, one has to deal with the energy requirement. Be if far from us to complain about monetization, but this one sorta creeps on one, what with the use energy buckets to get things rolling, redoing a challenge can be costly. There are ways to get refills, and one can use real money to supplement.

The game does a feel a bit busy in sections, and the aforementioned energy requirement might deter one from simply playing. The play rules are fairly loose, so basketball purists might balk at some elements as well.

As noted, for a folks looking for a realistic sim akin to the console titles, this one probably won’t cut the mustard. If one is able to see it for what it is meant to be — a management/building game with familiar names as the pieces — it isn’t too bad of an experience.

Basketball Stars Review

Basketball Stars Review

Apr 7, 2016

It’s hard not to like a game like Basketball Stars.

It’s a fun ride with regards to looks; it packs in tight hues and serious graphics that help underscore the gameplay. It sorta feels gritty, just like we’d expect from a street ball game, and the artwork subtly hints at the swagger that gives the game an engaging identity. The animations add some flair, and the developer does a good job of using color to enhance the action.

The sound matches up well, and with the eye-candy, it makes for a relatively well done sensory experience.

With regards to the gameplay, one can get wet via a few modes; first up is Practice, which is offline bs3and allows one to understand the mechanics with regards to shooting. This portion is a must-do when it comes to being successful. Additionally, there are two main gameplay modes, Attacker-Defender and Shooting Race.

The former allows the player to go into multiplayer mode against an online opponent Iv1 to a basket; it’s mainly a jump-shooting exercise, with a few moves the player can perform. Offensively, one can sidestep and shoot, while defensively, one can jump to block or swipe to steal. The game goes to the traditional 11, and winner gets cash and XP.

In Shooting Race, the player again goes against an online opponent, but both are shooting for points in the same basket. It is indeed a race, so speed of action is key; continued accuracy earns multipliers, and there are bonus balls and trick shot extras that come into play. Again, winning earns cash and XP.

For both modes, playing costs cash. The game allows for oher ways to earn cash and gold

When it’s all said and played, Basketball Stars manages to entertain in a continuous manner in a few different ways. The multiplayer component is evergreen, in that it pits the player against any number of like-skilled players in 1V1 battles for game cash. The game themselves are exciting to play in in real time, and a bit of skill is actually needed to do well.

NBA 2K15 (Fire TV) Review

NBA 2K15 (Fire TV) Review

Jan 19, 2015

In many ways, Amazon Appstore-exclusive NBA 2K15 is the perfect measure of the Amazon Fire TV.

At first glance, the graphics look great; cycling through the opening menu and such reveals glossy slides and bright, reddish tabs. The menu is quite responsive to the Fire Controller, with little hint of lag.

The menu is surprisingly sparse; one can create a player, and after that, the choices are Options, Controller, Quick Game and MyCareer. I was admittedly a bit dismayed that there isn’t yet a practice or training section, but there are two sections listed as upcoming: Season and Blacktop.

I swallowed my disappointment and hit up Quick Game; this gives the player the opportunity to go right into a game consisting of any two NBA teams. All teams are ranked, with San Antonio Spurs occupying the top spot (and understandably so). After selecting teams, the game goes into a simple, real-feeling presentation loop, and then gives a glitzy rendering of the starting lineups for each squad. After a perfunctory pregame ritual (where is the LBJ chalk toss?), the default 24-minute game begins.


It took a little while for me to get used the control set. I wasted time looking for what I felt would be standard: the ability to remap the controls, but that feature isn’t there. The default set isn’t too bad, but to refer to how they are mapped, one has to exit the game, which isn’t optimal. With a little practice, it is possible to make natural looking movements and actions.

In any case, I enjoyed playing the game on the controller. The developer did a good job with the game engine, and the design is great. The crowd is active, if sparse, and it mostly feels like a real NBA game. The different stadiums look authentic, and the game feel is realistic. Individually, I like the player characterizations. Kobe takes control at the end of games, Timmy D is Mr Fundamental, the Clippers have an affinity for the alley-oop, and Kevin Durant is, well, Kevin Durant. This piece is superb. Watching no look passes or players dive out to get a ball underscore the best part of the game.


The little pieces are nice too: half time highlights, game summaries, replays and the overall achievement system are great.

Back to graphics… they are okay, as noted, but I can’t shake the feeling that they could be better. The animations feel stilted at times, and this isn’t always concealed behind the fantastic “camera” work and auto plays. The players are recognizable, and scale of relative size is maintained, but there were glitches that occurred, like periodical loss of crowd noise and the game freezing during free throws.

The game does have room to grow, but feels like a decent catch now, and is even fuller with the controller. It can be enjoyed without, yes… but why would one want to? This is one game that is definitely enhanced by the Fire TV system, and is fine if one is able to avoid comparing it too closely with the console version.

NBA All Net Review

NBA All Net Review

Dec 10, 2014

To say that the card battler is a well worn genre on Android would be the understatement of the year. A basketball card battler is much rarer however. Is NBA All Net swish?

NBA All Net’s gameplay is mind numbing and no different to other card battlers on the platform except it’s in the form of basketball. Players simply tap on the “challenge” they would like to play (Which features a description that has nothing to do with the game) and then sit back and watch the game as it unfolds. Players play no role in the game once it has started and it is based on card stats only. Games are dreadfully boring to watch and feature more repetitive animation than an entire season of Scooby Doo so they are best skipped.

Screenshot_2014-12-08-08-16-48After the match the player receives experience and sometimes an item or extra player for their team. These items can be given to cards to increase their stats. Repeat ad infinitum and that’s NBA All Net in a nutshell.

There are many ways to make players stronger. The most basic way is training,which rasies card stats after a timer and at the cost of money.

Ranking up is another way to increase stats. Using items randomly found in game (or more commonly bought with real money) and large amounts of in game currency this provides much larger gains than training would but is otherwise exactly the same.

None of this is interesting or involving. It lacks any of the fun and personality of a game like WWE Supercard. The only reward for making cards stronger is more dull tap-and-watch “gameplay” that gets dull fast. Players cannot even build a team of their favourite basketball players because of how the game randomly dishes out players.

As benefits its b-ball theme, NBA All Net features drafting and training. However these are simply the way the player acquires new cards and strengthens their existing cards, just like every other card game on mobile.

Screenshot_2014-12-08-08-44-03NBA All Net is packed with in app purchases to a ridiculous degree. There are not only straight up diamond purchases, but also a $5 a month scheme that provides 100 diamonds a day, ensuring that pay to win is in full effect in the game. On top of that there are “loyalty packs” that provide extra awards for purchasing large amounts of diamonds. The money grabs in NBA All Net have the subtlety of a neon sledgehammer.

NBA All Net’s graphics leave much to be desired. The actual basketball action is a herky jerky affair with a poor framrate and animation that jerks all over the place. This is simply not acceptable on a quad core smartphone with 3gb of RAM.

The sound is also very repetitive. Every basket has the same crowd roars, and fanfares repeat too often. Some tepid rap music does nothing for the game and gets irritating very quickly. Here’s a dope jam indeed.

NBA All Net is a entirely forgettable entry in the already packed card battler genre on Android. It has absolutely no strengths, cynical in app purchases, and is boring to play. Players will be much better served playing WWE Supercard or an actual basketball game.

All-Star Basketball Makes Its Way To Google Play

All-Star Basketball Makes Its Way To Google Play

Nov 6, 2014

After a successful and exclusive iOS stint, All-Star Basketball has arrived for Android devices courtesy of Renown Entertainment.

The game is the love child of EA Sports Developers, and with such pedigree, it isn’t odd that we expect a good deal. Per the press release:

With an average 4.8 star rating, as well as being the most downloaded basketball game in it’s debut weekend on the Apple App Store*, All-Star Basketball is now available for Android devices on Google Play.

The team at Renown utilized additional polish time for the Android version of All-Star Basketball to ensure its new legacy as the top rated, best playing arcade hoops shooter in the sports game category. The Android version is more than a straight port, offering an improved experience compared to previous platform releases.

Additionally, this release introduces cross-platform matchmaking for Online Versus. Test your skills against both Android and iOS players in real-time shootouts to win gold for in-game rewards and claim court supremacy.

Experience the most realistic 3D basketball shot physics with customizable player avatars, arcade power-ups, console quality graphics, cloth simulation, and many other next-gen features for the first time on your Android device.

Enjoy single player in a variety of game modes ranging from Moving Hoop to the ever popular 3 Point Challenge based on the annual NBA All-Star Weekend. Climb the ranks through Google Play Services leaderboards and aim for the top spot.

Win gold points with each game to redeem a variety of items including power-ups with vibrant kinetic visual effects to compliment your play style, defeat opponents, and maximize your high score. Customize your player avatar in 3D with pro gear and swag to show off your personal baller style. Sharpen your skills in immersive global venues from Canada to Southeast Asia and prove that you’re the king of the court!

All-Star Basketball was created by former EA Sports developers who have previously contributed to the NBA Live, NBA Street, NCAA Basketball, FIFA, FIFA Street, Madden NFL, NHL, and PGA Tour franchises. Drawing on their experience in AAA game development and popular mobile titles such as Ball-Hopâ„¢ and Waves Survivorâ„¢, Renown sought to create a quick and fun, pick-up and play experience tailored for mobile devices with next-gen visual quality.

Install it now for free and get your BBall game on!

As noted, the game is free, with optional in-app purchasing.

NBA 2K15 Available on Android Exclusively On Amazon Appstore

NBA 2K15 Available on Android Exclusively On Amazon Appstore

Oct 16, 2014


The popular basketball simulation NBA 2K15 is now out — as an exclusive for Amazon Fire devices, just in time for the upcoming NBA season.

The latest iteration promises improved graphics, new controller support and more. According to the NBA 2K twitter feed, Pharrell Williams is curating the soundtrack, which can only be a good thing.

The game should make it way to the play Store, but for now, Fire device-owning folks can rub it in. We look forward to reviewing it soon.

The game will be available for $7.99.

Slam Dunk Basketball 2 Review

Slam Dunk Basketball 2 Review

Mar 4, 2014

Slam Dunk Basketball 2, despite its name is all about shooting basketballs rather than dunking them. A very simple drag to aim interface shoots the ball. Scoring baskets scores points and clean shots that don’t touch the rim of the basket score much more highly. Extra score bonus are awarded the higher the ball flies before going in and a combination of these bonuses is all but required to win any games.

Slam Dunk Basketball 2 is online only. Rather than Words With Friends style asynchronous multiplayer matches are played in real time. Rather than seeing the opponent play only their score is shown, which is kind of a letdown. Matches tend to be about how many clean shots are scored rather than anything else because of the very high score they award. Since the game is about aiming precisely this extreme bonus makes sense.

Screenshot_2014-02-22-13-29-48Besides one off games, short tourneys can be played online. Beating several people in a row awards a ton of coins and experience. Experience is used to level up, which unlocks new levels and tournaments. Large amounts of in game money must be spent to unlock new venues as well and the price of entry constantly rises.

Besides the main game, Slam Dunk Basketball 2 features a few minigames. A familiar spin to win game awards coins and balls while a scratchie type game awards even bigger prizes. Super annoyingly, the spinner can only be used once a day while the scratchies seems unusable unless you pay real money for tokens. This is a bit ridiculous. Neither of these games are required to play the main game however.

Winning matches awards coins that are needed to enter games and new basketballs can be purchased between games with them. There are a fun selection of balls to buy such as tiger ones, steampunk ones and lots of different colours. None of the balls actually change the game, they are just for fun.

Bafflingly, a few balls cost large amounts of real money, including one ball that costs about $50au.

Screenshot_2014-02-22-13-28-20Amazingly for a game that offers freemium purchases there are no actual in game boosts. All purchases are simply cosmetic and the game boils down to whoever has more skill and plays better rather than who spends more money on powerups and items. This is a very refreshing change compared to the multitude of pay to win games available on Android.

Slam Dunk Basketball 2 looks decent enough. The ball physics look very realistic and some nice lighting effects like filtered sunlight add some flair. Even on smaller phones it’s an easy game to play.

Soundwise the game is sparse, but good. Some catchy music pumps in the background while players are treated to the crisp sound to bouncing basketballs. A few tings and swishes for special shots round out the sound.

Slam Dunk Basketball 2 is a fun game and a good timewaster. Its lack of annoying freemiuem features and enjoyable core gameplay make it a winner.

MyNBA2K14, NBA2K14 Companion App, Released On Android

MyNBA2K14, NBA2K14 Companion App, Released On Android

Nov 20, 2013

MyNBA2K14 3

MyNBA2K14 is tied to the XBox 360, or PlayStation 4 version of NBA2K14, and allows its user to overview the team, get daily rewards, and even play two special mini-games, one being a card game, and another being Pick-Em mini-game, within the mobile device. MyNBA2K14 can be downloaded for free from here: MyNBA2K14 on Google Play.

NBA 2K13 Review

NBA 2K13 Review

Jun 7, 2013

While the NBA season is winding down with the NBA Finals (Editor’s Note: That will hopefully end with the San Antonio Spurs crushing the Miami Heat), with basketball simulations, the season does not ever have to end. This is why NBA 2K13, the port of the ever-popular console basketball game for Android devices, is potentially such a breath of fresh air.

The actual graphics are, in a word, fantastic. The definition is superb, and there is a clear flair added. Movements nba5are fairly realistic, with special care given to adequately replicate basketball movements. The background scenery was impressive, with exacting care seemingly paid to different NBA arenas. The animations are good as well; I especially like the little things, such as the ubiquitous daps given between free throws. The replay sequences are nice, and even the entertainment/timeout clips looked believable.

It was also nice to see the players look like their real life counterparts. Players were pared down to scale, so it was clear who say, Tony Parker is when compared to Tim Duncan.

The game comes in three play modes: Practice, Multiseason and Practice, all fairly self-explanatory. Outside of that, there are also some cool challenges in the name of Greatest Games, where you play as an NBA legend and try to match stats from an iconic game he played in, like Shaq’s 63-pointer against the Celtics, or Iverson’s first triple double against the Clippers. This section is adding more legendary players, which is great.

The gameplay itself is extremely fun, with a fun game engine and intuitive optional controls (either virtual d-pad or gestures). The d-pad came with buttons on the right to control offensive and defensive actions. Difficulty is based on level chosen; there are five levels to pick from, ranging from Rookie to Hall of Fame. I didn’t get an opportunity to try the bluetooth multiplayer, but it is a great feature on paper.

I thought that the practice mode could have been significantly better refined; it is a bit bare with regards to learning defensive sets. Also, cool as the graphics were, there were a circulated frame or two. I also hope to controller support down the line.

I think it is an incredibly exciting game that wonderfully brings console-level gameplay to mobile devices.

Friday Free App Rundown March 1st – Basketball Games

Friday Free App Rundown March 1st – Basketball Games

Mar 1, 2013

Basketball is a lot of fun to play and a pretty difficult to become good at. For those of us who aren’t all that great at it in real life, we can play them on our phones. As with any sports games, over time they have progressed and gotten really realistic.

Basketball has a lot of different styles of games that can be taken from the sport. This week we are talking about some different variations of basketball games for Android devices.

Basketball Throw!

Basketball Throw! is a pretty simple basketball game. It’s really addictive too. By dragging a finger on the screen, the path of the ball is displayed with dotted lines. Aim at the basket and try to get as many baskets as possible in the allotted time. It is a little harder than it looks.

Download Basketball Throw!

Basketball Shots 3D

Some times what makes a game more interesting than the others like it is the different modes or ways to play. That’s the case with Basketball Shots 3D. Not only can is there a chance play 1-on-1, there is also an online mode. This means there can be challenges with friend who aren’t in the same room or state. Battle mode is also a lot of fun trying to block the other player from making their shots.

Download Basketball Shots 3D

Real Basketball

Real Basketball lives up to its name. Modes like the Time Attack mode are fun to see how many baskets can be scored within the round. The Arcade mode is a real game. Using the realistic physics, popping a 3 from way back is a lot like doing it in real life; it takes skill. The camera angle when taking a shot is an over the shoulder style so it looks like it would in real life.

Download Real Basketball

Big Win Basketball

What I like about Big Win Basketball is the cartoony characters. I have always liked the less realistic games, the ones that use exaggerated physics. Get some power ups in the form of Impact Cards to help get the team the trophy in the competition. The more the teams win, the more Impact Cards the team will get. It’s a circle of winning really so practice up.

Download Big Win Basketball

Basketball Mania

Basketball Mania is a really fun skill game like they have at arcades and carnivals. See how many baskets can be made before the time runs out. As the levels are completed, the game changes a little to make it more and more challenging. The basket even moves so it’s a lot harder to time the shots. Some of the skins are pretty cool looking too.

Download Basketball Mania

NBA King of the Court 2 Review

NBA King of the Court 2 Review

Feb 25, 2013

Hopefully I can say this without getting jumped: basketball may have some right to being called The American Pastime… maybe even the World’s Pastime. Naismith’s game is a global affair.

Basketball-themed Android games are bound to garner attention, so being well-designed and fairly innovative within a recognizable version of the rules of the game is pretty much mandatory. NBA King of the Court 2 is a fun hardwood game from Ogmento, Inc that tries to manage just that task.

The game looked good… I could say that much at first glance. Slick, sharply overlayed graphics were enhanced the further along the game went on. City landscapes were blended into the background of their NBA arenas, giving a whole new level of uniqueness to well-known structures. the sounds worked well with imagery to create a media-rich environment that added to the game’s aura.

Upon starting, I had the choice to “Rule The NBA” (single player) or “Rule the World” (multiplayer action). Both portions contained plenty of leveled tasks. In single player, I had the opportunity to play my through NBA cities, earning power-up balls along the way, all the while playing with teammates and going against opponents looking to swat and steal. The global mode used real maps to give itself some pop.

In training camp, I had the opportunity to unlock 30 NBA cities in 6 divisions by successfully completing challenges. My first challenge was to make 3 shots on my home court. using swipes to straighten and taps to shoot, I got moved to higher levels, to work on stuff like passing, recovering from steals and earning power balls. The training sequence was a great way to open gameplay via arcade-like tasks. Shooting was accomplished my a disembodied set of arms.

My biggest gripe was the menu. I think it could have been a bit more intuitive, but I was able to get around. I also would have liked to see better methods to accumulate game currency (beyond the in-app purchasing).

In all, it should be a game that appeals to the jumpshooter in all of us.

Big Win Basketball Review

Big Win Basketball Review

Dec 26, 2012

Hothead Games is no stranger to simulated sports management games, and Big Win Basketball mostly delivers a similar type of experience to its Hothead’s stable mates. It allowed me, as a coach/manager, to develop a team worthy of winning basketball glory in multiplayer leagues.

The game had a retro feel to it; graphics-wise; it had me hearkening back to arcade 2v2 basketball. The graphics were relatively smooth though, and I could clearly make out the plays as the players milled around the court. The colors were fairly well defined without being distracting, and the basketball court looked like a basketball court, with good artistic perspective.

To start off, I got a starter pack of five players and some impact cards. The impact cards were used during the game. One impact cards, for instance, was a “swatter” which b-ball heads will guess correctly as a sort of upgrade to block shots. I also got some game coins, and could supplement that by opening the app daily and also by playing games. These coins could be used to procure extra stuff like better players, uniforms, power-ups and more.

The gameplay was fairly rudimentary; prior to the game, I did what was necessary to put the best team on the floor. I could improve my players by playing short games, which served to identify stuff I could improve with coins.

I had the option of watching a game; this was similar to playing a console version of basketball and allowing the computer to play itself on my behalf. I admittedly found this to be fairly entertaining, as the simulated players did some nice things. There were drives, high pick and rolls, slashing to the basket, dunks blocks, steals and more. Late in the game and down a few points, the game engine continually fouled me to put me at the line, and stop the clock. Interestingly, this tried and true coaching strategy almost worked.

I found this game to be surprisingly engaging. As a sports gamer back in the day, I would have loved more organic gameplay, but I sorta dig the developers vision. In the end, it is definitely worth trying.