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StarDunk Review: Intense, but Strapped Down Basketball

This whole “aim with the line and hope you make it” type of basketball isn’t new at all; I’ve seen a couple of games that have the same gameplay mechanics.  But what Godzilab did to this formula is take it to the next level via online play.  That’s right, you’ll be competing against 6-8 people at a time trying to receive the highest score, lighting up the 4 bricks on the backboard to receive powerups and such.

Every achievement you achieve through Plus+ will also net you a new ball, each with their own skills and special abilities.  And while it provides for a somewhat addictive experience, it is limited to only one gameplay mode and online play.  You can play offline of course; you just won’t be able to unlock any balls or compete with people online, which is basically the whole point of the game.

It’s very simple but in my eyes quite successful, and I’m having fun with it.

Likes

Smooth: Online play isn’t too bad, and I haven’t experienced any lag thus far.  Pushing the scores to the servers is a bit delayed, but there’s nothing really too noticeable about the online play.  It’s smooth, doesn’t lag, and is great for those who are extremely competitive.

Basketballs: Collecting basketballs was quite a creative way to create some more replay value, and Godzilab did a good job of making each ball quite varied.  I’ve been using the Starball for most of my StarDunk career, but I’ve got a few more up my sleeve that I would like to use once I’ve unlocked them.

Dislikes

Limited: There’s only one gameplay mode and two different types of powerups, and the game is very much limited to online play.  If you’re on an iPod touch, you’ll only be (really) able to play StarDunk at home.  There is an offline mode, but again, you won’t be able to collect anything or see the online scores.

StarDunk is a simple game that’s actually quite fun, and I’m still trying to reach that 100K score (80,000 right now).  Competing against people online is quite exhilarating, and achieving 1st place is always a good feeling.  While Godzilab took a step back from hardcore puzzle game to casual basketball, they made a surprisingly smooth transition.

StarDunk was developed by Godzilab, and I played through version 1.12 on my iPhone 4.  The price is $0.99.