It makes a strange kind of sense that you’d send inhumanly tall and athletic pro basketball players to ward off an alien invasion, as is the offbeat hook for the fun (but generic), free-to-play endless runner, NBA Rush. All 90 players are licensed from the 30 current NBA team rosters, and are modeled in a rough likeness to their real-world selves, right down to their respective signature dunking styles. There’s little to distinguish them beyond aesthetics, however.
Following a stellar effort last year, it feels like 2K Sports phoned in the latest mobile edition of its highly regarded basketball simulation series. NBA 2K14 is essentially NBA 2K13 (minus the commentary), albeit with updated rosters and a new mode focused on superstar LeBron James. It feels incomplete, thanks to awkward gaps in the presentation where you'd expect commentary, plus a host of other minor glitches and issues. But, as with last year's effort, there's a decent – albeit barebones – basketball simulation under the hood.
Over the past few years, sports have moved forward with the help of technology. Games are filled with instant replay to make sure calls are made correctly, and statistics have become the subject of detailed analysis to see exactly where results come from. It's time that coaches of all levels get in on the movement to utilize tech to improve their teams. We've collected eight apps that will help coaches get a leg up both on the practice field and in the huddle. Take your team to glory, whether that means securing a championship or just winning a few more games than usual.
Developing a spiritual successor to one of the most reviled licensed games in history might not be the best way to generate positive results, if ShaqDown is any indication. Like the laughable Shaq Fu before it, which transformed eccentric NBA star Shaquille O'Neal into a hand-to-hand fighter during the early days of his career, ShaqDown again turns the now-retired hoops legend into a violent warrior, this time tasked with pummeling zombies. And much like the game that inspired it, Shaq Fu is an occasionally amusing but mostly irritating experience.
The NBA 2K name typically comes attached to a hardcore simulation that is largely impenetrable to casual basketball fans, but NBA 2K13 for iPhone and iPad dials back the realism to offer something more accessible. There’s still plenty of depth for the diehards — though not quite on the level of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 console outings — but even those with only a rudimentary understanding of the sport could soon be dribbling and dunking with the best of them. It's a bit cramped on an iPhone, but NBA 2K13 feels ideally suited to the iPad.
Even if sports typically aren't your thing, Gasketball is one funky space jam fest you don't want to pass up. Beyond a catchy title and a quirky robot buddy that offers good natured coaching assistance, this upbeat hoops-meets-puzzle game delivers a slam dunk in the trick shot department.
Over the course of the next three weeks, the field of 68 college basketball teams will be narrowed down, one by one, until only the best remains. That's a lot of hoops for one person to handle, so don't go it alone. We've rounded up the best companion apps to help you keep track of the madness. From watching games to tracking brackets, these apps will make sure you won't miss a second of the action.
Licensed sports games so often aim for the diehards and sim junkies, leaving the casual and less devout fans on the bench. Not NBA Jam, though -- this light and speedy take on professional basketball pops with big-headed players and two-on-two dunk-fests, and nearly two decades after its original arcade debut, it's been revived for iPhone and iPad with all the latest teams and stars.