App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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I don’t really wish I was a little bit taller. I don’t wish I was a Baller. I’ve already got a girl who looks good, and I do call her. Even if I did, thanks to Real Basketball I wouldn’t have to fret over it like Skee - Lo. Well, at least not the “Baller” part.
Real Basketball is all about free throws. Players can customize their character with a few preset skins, ball, and jersey options then take to the court. Shots are handled with simple swipe controls that allow players to adjust strength and angles. Perfect baskets (i.e. a “swish”) can trigger special bonuses like additional time on the clock, point multipliers, and so on. The more baskets that are racked up in succession the faster the point totals climb. Gameplay is split into four types, with two more modes that can be unlocked through in-app purchases: Tournament, Arcade, Time Attack, and Single Ball. Tournament tasks players with accruing a set number of points within a certain time limit before moving on to the next level. Arcade provides a specific number of missed shots before it’s Game Over. Time Attack is all about scoring as much as possible before time runs out. Finally, Single Ball is the same as Arcade, only with no misses allowed.
It might only be about free throws, but Real Basketball can still be pretty fun thanks to all the bonuses that kick in with enough consecutive baskets. It even calls to mind the arcade favorite NBA Jam a little when it sets the hoop on fire. I also have to commend Mobile Interaktif for their controls. I’ve messed around with a fair number of “swipe to shoot” games recently and they really have it down. It’s not just that polished feeling, either. There’s a handy little indicator on the side that displays both the strength of the shot and the sweet spot that almost always nails a perfect basket. It’s incredible just how much of a difference it makes.
As fun as Real Basketball is, it’s still kind of a one-trick pony. Ha! I made a H.O.R.S.E joke! Right. Anyway, as I’ve said it’s all about the free throw. Problem is, that’s really what it’s all about. There’s not much variety on offer, at least not without dropping some cash to unlock the other two modes. The multiplayer mixes things up a bit but it’s still just a free throw competition with another person. And it costs precious coins to play a round, which the player will lose outright if they can’t beat their opponent.
Real Basketball can be a fun little distraction for a while. It’s easy to learn, surprisingly intuitive to play, and can be quite satisfying when racking up a high score. It’s just a shame that there’s no real variety to it.