It’s not often that we see a mainstream sports game, like Flick NBA Basketball, pull down an official league license. While it might seem appealing on the surface for basketball and genre fans, the game simply does not live up to the other Flick Sports games and is Freeverse’s first true flop.
Flick NBA Basketball is basically a collection of five mini-games.
3-Point Shootout is about draining as many treys in as you can in 60-seconds. The controls here are fairly simple — ‘flick’ your finger up the touch screen to shoot the ball. As easy as it is, there is no way to direct your shot toward the basket, turning this into a game of luck rather than skill.
H.O.R.S.E. is a variation on what you played as a youngster. You and the computer take turns trying to make shots from anywhere on the court. Once a player makes the shot, your opponent must also do the so from that same spot or else you get a letter; spell out HORSE and you lose … and you always lose. This game is a disaster. Facing the CPU is unreasonably difficult, as its field goal percentage is upwards of 90 percent. Not even Kobe’s that good. It’s nigh impossible to catch it off guard or score. The just plain bad controls are no help, either, which involves timing your finger flick with a shot meter. The arrow moves so fast it’s almost impossible.
Hotshot, in all fairness, is not half bad. Hotshot takes out all of the ‘pros’ and leaves you with an arcade-style basketball shooter. The flicking concept is easy to pick up, and the basket moves back to increase the difficulty. While the controls worked fine for this game and it was totally playable, you can find the same thing for $1 on the App Store.
Long Shot fails in the same way that H.O.R.S.E. did — dreadful controls. The task here is get as many balls in the basket as you can in the allotted time — boring and unoriginal while using the same, frustrating meter-based controls.
Ball Spin brings a little creativity to the title outside of the standard hoop shooting. While original, Ball Spin’s controls make the game no fun. While using the accelerometer, the idea is to balance a basketball on a finger while spinning it at just the right speed. You spin the ball by swiping the touch screen, which works well but seemingly impossible as you try to maintain just the right speed in order to keep the ball up. While Ball Spin is a solid concept, execution falls a bit short.
There is a glaring omission of a free play mode, meaning you can’t just shoot a few baskets to pass some time. And while there are plenty of pros to use, the selection menu is hard and slow to navigate — It will take you more time to find your favorite player than to play the game. Despite all the game types, the game still feels incomplete.
All shortcomings aside, the graphics are are absolutely beautiful and deceivingly real. The pros and details look stunningly realistic, which is something we have not seen in many sports game thus far. Freeverse obviously spent much more time on the visuals than gameplay, which does not compensate for the game faulty controls. The NBA license is ultimately reduced to gimmick status, so we have to recommend that you stay away from Flick NBA Basketball until some of its serious flaws are improved.