The street ball culture is one of colorful characters, intense competition and extreme displays of agility. With the release of Streetball for the iPhone and iPod touch, Battery Acid Games attempts to capture the attitude and feel of the neighborhood basketball courts.
The b-ball battles take place on an urban court, complete with background sounds of the surrounding city. There are eight characters to play, each one bearing a striking resemblance to a real-life basketball player (such as Michael Jordan) or a high-profile hoops enthusiast (such as a certain White House occupant); each character comes with his or her own stats.
Streetball has a quick on-court tutorial to get you up to speed and three different type of games to play including Two-on-Two, First to 21 and H.O.R.S.E. In the first two games, you move around with a directional pad and tap buttons to pass or shoot. (Those buttons change to block and steal when you’re on defense.) When you shoot, an accuracy meter pops up as you hold down the button; you release the button at the right moment to sink the shot.
You can do a lay-up, shoot from downtown or dunk. Unfortunately, there only seems to be one trick dunk—a front flip. When playing H.O.R.S.E., you have to trace shapes with your finger in order to duplicate your opponent’s last shot.
Before you spend $2 on Streetball, you can always try the free lite version of the game. It restricts you to just four characters, and you can only play the Two-on-Two game.
Streetball is off to a good start but the gameplay feels a little flat without more special dunks, a career mode, or maybe a slam dunk contest. Even in hard mode, the competition goes down a little too easily for my tastes. And there’s no multi-player option.
Despite these limitations, Streetball still merits your attention, particularly if you’re looking for a hoops fix for your iPhone.
Streetball is compatible with any iPhone or iPod touch running the iPhone 2.1 software update.
[Tim Mercer is a technology enthusiast, graphic designer, and blogger, whose blog, digital-artist-toolbox.com, offers free resources to the digital artist and graphic designer.]