Basketball Stars is an interesting twist on the simple sport genre. It's a bit flicky in its nature, but there's actually a lot more going on under the bonnet here. Namely a surprisingly interesting multiplayer game.
Rather than just taking shots and chasing a high score, here you're playing against an opponent. And there's a second game mode that replicates one-on-one basketball duels, with one of you trying to block the other's shots.
And while it does lose its excitement after a couple of hours or so, you'll still find yourself coming back to it from time to time, shooting some hoops and making some bets to back up your skills.Making some bets?
Yup. Each of the games you play involves wagering some in-game cash on your success. If you win you get the whole pot, if you lose you don't get a thing.
In Shooting Race you need to score as many points as possible. You swipe the screen to shoot, and need to stop your swipe when a power meter is close to the perfect spot.
You get two points for a basket and three points for a perfect shot that doesn't hit the rim. Score enough baskets and you set on fire, and get double the points for each successful shot.
There are other buffs as well. Sometimes you'll get a one-off lucky ball that doubles your points, and occasionally the backboard lights up with a bonus that you'll get if you hit it then sink the ball. Which is pretty hard.
In Attacker-Defender things are even more tense. If you've got the ball you need to dodge and feint, then shoot without the other player knocking the rock out of the sky. If you're defending, you need to read what your opponent's doing and stop them from scoring.
The first player to score ten points wins, so you need to focus on getting perfect baskets. And when you miss, you need to make sure you don't get faked out too often by your basketing foe. It's actually really good.Okay, this does sound interesting
It is. I didn't think I was going to like it as much as I do. But that extra spice inherent in playing with other people makes the compulsion loop tighter.
You want to test yourself, you want to buy a new hat, you want to make sure no one scores over the top of you.
It might not offer the depth of a real basketball simulator, but for a quick-fire experience that's fun to dip in and out of, Basketball Stars has an awful lot going for it.