NBA Hotshot scores with entertaining arcade basketball.
We love going to Dave and Buster's and playing arcade games, especially basketball, the one where you have 30 to 40 seconds to shoot hoops. Now the fun comes to iPhone, thanks to Freeverse's NBA Hotshot.
This arcade-style iPhone/iPod Touch App lets you shoot hoops within a confined NBA cabinet, using four balls to drain as many baskets as possible. The Classic Play mode gives you 40 seconds to shoot unlimited balls, with the backboard shifting to three-point range halfway through. If you prefer something more skillful, there's also a Three Strikes mode, where you have to keep successfully making shots in order to stay in the game. Miss three of them and your turn is over.
Shooting is as simple as flicking balls at the basket. There's a certain technique to it, though. You have to judge your flicks based on accuracy and power. Otherwise, the balls sail short of the basket or brick off the rim. Fortunately, NBA Hotshot gives you plenty of room to practice, and you will get better with each round.
Furthermore, you earn trophy points that let you unlock virtual items, including commemorative basketballs for each NBA team. There are also food items, including a soft drink and popcorn, but they're useless. Stick with the balls, because you can actually use them in the game.
All you do in NBA Hotshot is shoot free throws, and that's a limitation that some gamers will find hard to overlook (especially if they picked up the iPhone/iPod Touch version of EA Sports' NBA Live). However, the shooting is fun, and you can play with up to five people in a local multiplayer contest. An online leaderboard adds further competition as well, even though some of these people are way too good. (100 points in a round? We can barely get 50.)
Freeverse did a good job with the game's presentation, even though there's very little change to the surroundings. The shooting area is nice and clean, giving you a clear perspective of where the hoop and balls are. Furthermore, the camera shifts to an upward view at the buzzer, so you can watch your final shot sail in (or bounce off) in slow motion. The sound effects are equally good, with real pinball and other authentic arcade effects playing in the background, and a virtual crowd cheering you on during a hot streak.
Even better, the game costs a buck. That makes NBA Hotshot a steal, and a must for basketball enthusiasts and NBA fans alike. Sure, all you do is shoot hoops, but it's fun and competitive, just like the real thing at Dave and Buster's. Plus, you don't have a kid laughing at you with a handful of tickets when it's over.
What's Hot: Easy to get into and play, Three Strikes mode will test your shooting technique, looks and sounds great for an iPhone App, only a buck, unlockable extras.
What's Not: Gets repetitive (since all you do is shoot hoops), popcorn and soda aren't as rewarding as game balls.