Basketball is one of my favorite sports, and I’ve been waiting for a good Android basketball game to drop for awhile now. Slam Dunk Basketball is a new Android game from VisualDreams that puts a new twist on the old game. It’s a trajectory based shooting game (no dunking unfortunately) with tons of achievements to unlock and it’s definitely the type of game you can play for awhile. As much as I really, really liked playing this game, I also had a few major gripes about it. Read on to find out if this game is a winner or just another bust…
Gameplay & Features
From the main screen of Slam Dunk Basketball you have 4 options which are Play, How to Play, Locker Room and Shop. Play is the main mode and from here you’ll be given missions to hit certain types of shots, and you’ll have to do it against the clock. Some of these are pretty hard to pull off and it will take multiple tries, the nice thing is any goals you complete are saved so you only have to go back and complete the ones you missed. Once you complete your goals for the level, you’re given another set and you move on. I have no idea how many levels/challanges there are in total (I’m guessing 60)which is a little frustrating as there’s no way to tell how much progresses you’ve made in the game. As it is a basketball game, you’re going to be shooting the ball 99% of the time, and that’s done with a touch/trajectory style system similar to Angry birds or Super Stickman Golf. It can take a little time to get used to it, but once you do shooting becomes second nature. As the game progresses, the shots will become VERY difficult; especially when you have to start doing shots like “Score a Ball Bounce + Clean Shot” which I’ve been stuck on for hours.
If you’re a little confused on what a ball bounce is, no worries as the How to Play section covers (and shows you) the 9 different shots you’ll have to make. Next up we’ll take a look at the Shop which is where you can buy different courts, balls, powers, and extra funds of course which can be used to purchase all of the above. You do earn cash from playing the game, but I’m not sure how much or how exactly how it’s paid out. I’ve been playing Slam Dunk Basketball for a little over an hour and haven’t made much at all, maybe around 160 coins or so. That isn’t much considering balls cost 300 and levels are 1,000-2,000. There around 10 or so backdrops you can unlock and around 30 different ball skins including Wilson from Castaway which was pretty awesome actually. The Locker Room keeps track of your goals, stats and achievements. I’m a “stats guy” kind of guy so I was happy with all the different stats it keeps track of including total play time, money spent, challenges completed, etc. Slam Dunk Basketball also uses the OpenFeint Scoring system so you can throw up your best scores online.
Once I figured out the shooting, I really got into playing Slam Dunk Basketball. The graphics are very crisp looking and there are more than enough achievements and challenges to unlock. I did have two MAJOR issues with the game though; the first of which is the use of in-game ads. Basketball is generally a fast paced game, and I cannot stress to you how much it sucks to complete a 90 second level and then stare at an ad for 10 seconds before you can check your stats or play again. It wouldn’t be so bad, but it happens every single time you do a challenge which gets annoying very damned quick… they can be removed by buying any of the currency packages from the shop. My second gripe is lack of funds to spend in-game. They do start you out with some currency which I instantly used to buy another ball; in the hour I’ve been playing since I’ve only earned around 160 coins isn’t great. At that rate I’d have to play 2 hours to unlock another ball, and there are 40 of them… bad ratio guys. Slam Dunk Basketball is a lot of fun to play, but seems like it’s more geared towards you buying coins to unlock items vs. actually earning them in gameplay. Still a good game, just think there should be the option of a full paid version that skips the ads and the in-game purchase nonsense.