Developer: Freeverse, Inc.
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Before you buy Flick NBA Basketball, please note that it is a collection of mini-games rather than a full basketball sim. I’ve talked to some people that were disappointed that there was no full basketball game within Flick, but that is just not what the flick series is all about. The game is really meant for people that are stuck riding busses to and from work or school, or for people who are given a short break in whatever task they are doing.

First off, the graphics are pretty solid, but they are certainly nothing too special. Its looks rival some of the better flash games found for free on the internet, which isn’t a bad thing considering how involved some of those flash games are. The attention to character detail is quite good, bringing realistic qualities and life to the NBA licensed players, but the animations are a bit sloppy. The first thing that you will notice when playing the 3 point shootout is that the players run like frolicking deer. Once the player is done frolicking and is set, the shooting animation is a bit slow and odd looking, causing me to miss the occasional shot. In HORSE, the shots all take the same trajectory to the hoop, and every shot ends up being a rainbow shot. There really is nothing like seeing Yao Ming toss up a looper from half court, because if you make the shot, it is always a swish. The ball spin and hotshot areas are much more realistic… probably because there are no players to animate.

The game gets really funny when you get into the gameplay. Flick NBA Basketball works to where you have to flick your finger in a motion towards the basket to make a shot. The straighter the flick motion is, the straighter the shot is. You’ll also learn quickly that you have to flick the ball towards the hoop, or else you will see some outrageous air balls (I shot one during the gameplay video that couldn’t have been further off the mark). The problem with the game isn’t that there is a lack of gameplay options (there are plenty) or that the game has poor controls, but that some of the games are incredibly easy. When I say incredibly easy, I mean that you will probably have parts of the game (3 Pt. Shootout, Longshot) mastered within the first week or so. Since the game is just a collection of mini games, I’ll break the gameplay of each on separately.

3 Pt. Shootout
This is a typical 3 point shootout that you see in the NBA All Star weekend. You get a certain amount of time to drain 25 balls stationed around the 3 point line, with the last ball of each section being counted as two points. I’ll tell you right now that if you do mini hand swipes right in front of the hoop, you’ll never miss a shot. You could play the two player hot seat mode, but if both players always get a perfect score, the game isn’t that much fun. Try to challenge yourself to take long swipes at the hoop. The game will be noticeably harder and much more humorous.

Just like a typical game of H.O.R.S.E., you must move select first where you want to shoot, and then shoot. The shooting works to where you have to not only flick the ball, but flick it when a sliding bar slides past the green area. The sliding bar appears above your player and goes faster and faster depending on how far away the shot it. This game can also be two player, and is by far the best part of Flick Basketball.

Hotshot is a one player only version of the Chuck-E-Cheese cage basketball game. You shoot as many balls as you can through a hoop in the effort to beat your highest score. On your first try, you’ll notice that almost every ball goes in the hoop. If there was an online high score option, this game could become quite fun, but trying to beat yourself just seems like an exercize in futility.

Longshot gives you 30 seconds to shoot a layup, a free throw, a 3 point shot, and a half court shot. The shot system works just like H.O.R.S.E., which is difficult at first but very easy to master.

Ball Spin
This game is a bit odd, and is the only game that doesn’t involve shooting a basket. The game starts with a hand (your character) with a ball on top. The goal is to keep the ball spinning on your finger for as long as possible. To keep the ball spinning, you must do a combination of flicking the ball and moving the hand (with the accelerometer). Again, an online high score area would be amazing in this section.

Watch in HD, it looks much nicer.

For $0.99, this game would be pretty good, but for $4.99 it is a bit too pricy. The NBA licensing is nice, but I don’t know if it warrants the price. I would definitely recommend this game to people who love every nuance of basketball, but for non sports fans, I don’t know how much excitement you will get out of it. If you are expecting some fun, on-the-go type gameplay, you will not be disappointed in your purchase of Flick NBA Basketball.

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