About the game
"NBA Rush", brought to you by RenRen Games, is a NBA officially licensed, endless runner for the iOS. You take on the role of an NBA superstar, and your mission is to dribble through a city for as long as you can while collecting coins, power-ups, and special NBA icons. The longer you run, the more points you will score. Sounds simple, right? Well, here is the catch: you've got to dodge incoming alien attacks while avoiding other obstacles on the road. Some of these obstacles even include walls, hurdles, busses, and robots.
The power-ups you collect help you to jump higher as well as shield you from damage and turn you into a magnet that attracts coins. A neat power-up is the "Dunk" which throttles your character into the air and dunk on a spaceship and, thus, destroying it.
In the end, the ultimate goal is to collect as many coins as you can. The coins you collect can be used to upgrade the power-ups you collect or, more importantly, draft more players from a pool of 90 players. That's three players per team and each having different abilities. For example Kobe allows you to collect 25% more coins while LeBron allows you to score 25% more points. Additionally, the players are upgradable, but at the cost of the premium, in-game currency.
Just like most mobile games today, there are micro transactions for coins and diamonds (which are used to upgrade players and such). If you're impatient and find that the game is worth your money, then you can spend a few dollars to grab your favorite players right away instead of trying to earn them.
What works for "NBA Rush"
The animation is the first noticeable thing when you start the game. It's very cartoonish. Thus entertaining and appealing to the eyes. When you move your characters from one lane to another they perform fun dribble effects like crossovers. In addition, sometimes swiping up not only caused your character to jump up, but sometimes they would do a flip. And, while in mid-air, if you moved left or right, the character would spin. These small things just add to making the game a little better.
Surprisingly, the controls were very responsive. In some instances there were obstacles set up in a way that you needed to react quickly and either slide and jump right away or move over a lane and slide. Either way, double movement was required and the game responded quite well to the actions being requested.
The game starts you with three players out of 90. In order to obtain more players you have to draft them. It takes 3000 coins to draft one player (you spin a basketball to determine the quality of player you receive). An average run will net you about 150-200 coins. So, at your best, it may take up to 15 attempts to finally earn a new character. This gives the game a lot of replayability. There is nothing worse than playing a game and beating it within two to three hours later. This is how some console games play out, and they can cost you $60. Which leads us to the final point.
NBA Rush is free. Nothing beats free.
What doesn't work for "NBA Rush"
Let's face it, "Temple Run" really set the standard high for all runners. That game takes advantage of the many features that the iPhone has to offer (in particular the phone's gyro). With "NBA Rush," the controls are limited to side-to-side, jump up, and slide down. There is not leaning to the right or left. In addition, the game follows a straight line. Remember, in "Temple Run," you had to quickly decide to turn left or right. Also, it may have looked weird, but it was really funny seeing someone hold their phone at an angle while swiping in different directions.
Oddly, the game has these robots (that you can jump on and destroy) that seemed to be lined up in strange intervals. Specifically, they are spaced far enough where if you were to jump on one launches your character just slightly over the second one. One would think if they were lined up one after another, you were meant to land on both. However, this is not the case, and instead you land awkwardly past the second robot as it mocks you for missing out on potential points and other rewards.
Earlier, it was mentioned that the animation was something that the game does right. While it is nice to look at, the game fails to go beyond the cityscape. While the scene does change every now and then via a tunnel, a walk in the park, or hyper jump into space, there is nothing that makes you go wow or wanting to go back. What's so exciting about going through a short tunnel? The trip into space is similar to the bonus round in "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" where you had to collect rings in the allotted time. However, that time feels like its 10-15 seconds long; Too short of a ride for anyone to enjoy.
The rating explained and some final thoughts
"NBA Rush" is a fun and quirky endless runner. It's NBA theme will attract fans of the sport as it boasts some of the most popular players like Rajon Rondo, Kevin Durant, and Anthony Davis. However, there is nothing else that makes it special from all the other endless runners out there. It has its ups and downs, and both seem to balance each other out.
So, if you're a fan of basketball or endless runners, then check this game out. If you decide otherwise, then no foul done. You're not missing out on anything.
"NBA Rush" is currently only available for iOS and is free to download.
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