Tap, Swipe, Score!
Shoot the hoop in this exciting game. Play against real opponents and advance through career mode to become the best player in the court.
I had almost forgot how it feels to play a video game against a real opponent. It is this that makes me raise an eyebrow whenever someone is discussing the dangers of AI in serious manner. Of course, it's not that hard to program a competent AI, especially for Basketball Stars, but the human element makes shooting balls at a hoop much more exciting.
In Basketball Stars, you get to hone the skills of your player avatar in shooting, blocking, slam-dunking and more. The aim is to advance through higher and higher levels and to enjoy playing ball in general. Play sessions are either solo or against a human opponent. In solo, gameplay revolves around timing only. On the other hand PvP is split into two modes: Shooting Race, witch is simultaneous hoop shooting and Attacker-Defender, in which you will either try to score or block your opponent from doing so. There's also a career mode, but I didn't bother reaching level four in order to relate to you how it is. You'll have to try for yourself.
Attacker-Defender is by far the most interesting game mode. Using simple tapping and swiping, you can either step left or right, or shoot. At the same time you have controls for feigning either stepping or shooting. As the defender, you can match your opponent's steps, block his or her shot or try and steal the ball. This is on top having to aim to score.
Aiming is a fairly simple business. You just need to swipe up at a certain rate for a certain time in order to get as close as possible to the target on the power bar. However, doing that while confronted by a blocker might be enough to split your attention and force you to miss. That's all fine, because you get to do the same to your opponent.
The game also contains the obligatory elements of freemium titles: free currency and buy-able currency, character dress dress up and minigames, such as spin-the-wheel and crazy hoops (the latter being rather relaxing).
Basketball Stars is a solid game. The interface is well done and the controls are fairly easy to get used to. Connecting to Facebook allows you to play against your friends rather than random opponents, and that can turn the game into an unexpected "social" hit. Just don't play it while you're in the same room. There are board games for that.