Mar 27, 2010


I've reviewed a few games like this including Mini Shot Basketball, but this game is different in that it's actually good. Other games seem to rely too much on muscle memory where after playing for a while (a very short while) you can get into the groove and rack up really high scores which in turn makes the game no longer fun. A major case in point is Skee Ball on the iPhone... I can not comprehend how it's still (never mind about how it ever became) a top fifty (top ten?) game. It's basic, boring, and winning a virtual teddy bear doesn't do it for me. Anyhow, back to this game...

The plainly named BasketBall offers three timed modes and two shot modes where you're simply try to make baskets. The ball is placed somewhere on a side view of a basketball court and you have to drag to create the appropriate shot arc that will sink the basket. And you have to do it quickly and/or accurately. The physics work well... the variety in shots make the game not subject to muscle memory burnout... and all in all it's an enjoyable diversion.

The game isn't without flaws and there are two that really bug me. The first is that while I'm positioning my show my finger blocks a good portion of the screen making is hard to see what I'm doing. I had hoped that finger placement would solve that issue (i.e. where I first place my finger is an imaginary ball and we work from there), but the game doesn't work that way... your finger relative to the ball is what makes the shot arc. Second, the game has a Type 1, 2, and 3 trajectory precision on the option screen, but I can't see an explanation of what that means anywhere. But then the game comes through with some surprising detail such as how the net moves as the ball flows through it.

I don't know why making this type of game has proven so challenging. SimbSoft did a great Pocket PC version of basketball ages ago where quick dragson the touch screen were used to take shots. I know that doesn't make much sense without seeing it (and is a dead site right now with a database error message appearing in its place), but it and several of their other sports games worked well. How I'd love to see Android ports of their games. In the meantime Basketball is a good, solid game in this genre and I'm glad it's available. 4/5 stars. You can see the (left side of the) game in action in the video below:

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