iOS Mini-Review: Double Dribble Fast Break

January 13, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Posted in iOS Reviews | 4 Comments
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From the company that brought you basketball abominations like NBA 2Night and NBA Starting Five, it’s an iOS game that is worse than the original classic for which the game is named after.  That’s right, the 25 year-old 1987 NES classic, Double Dribble, is significantly better than the unfinished crap Konami peddled here in Double Dribble Fast Break ($0.99 – iPhone app store).  When you look at the game in the app store, it shows the familiar screenshots of the red vs. green teams and those classic zoomed-in shots with guys bouncing dunks off the back rim.  This is initially exciting as who wouldn’t want that retro classic on their iOS device?

Bait and switch at its finest

When you get into the actual game you will be jarred to find your team has purple uniforms…to go with blue arms…and your opponent is the exact same color! It was easier to tell similar looking characters apart in the movie Avatar . This of course leads to random dribbling out-of-bounds as you have no idea who has a loose ball.  Now when you go into the options (and you can thankfully change the quarter time and difficulty level), there is a “team color” bar that you can slide. Unfortunately, this change is limited to the uniform color of your guys when they are slow motion dunking or holding up a trophy after you’ve won a game. I’ve heard on the iPad the color of the actual uniforms in-game changes, but how is that programming so challenging that it can’t work for the iPhone 4? The screenshot shown above is from the flash player game that you can play for free on the internet.  Thanks, Konami.

Konami spent more time on the large lock icon than coming up with unlockables in the actual game

The controls aren’t bad as the game uses the same two button layout as the original, but the sound is broke, as the game has no volume controls and gets randomly louder at different parts of the game. The zoomed in dunks are still here, but they looked better in 8-bit. There is also the “Fast Break” piece of the game where if you happen to realize you’ve grabbed a rebound and can pass it out to a streaking teammate down the court, your guy gets a little turbo and makes an easy basket (usually a one-handed slam).

The retro Double Dribble style

After winning your first game, you unlock the asphalt court, and I had a little hope that maybe this was where the real Double Dribble teams were. Nope, we have the same blue-on-blue alien action, and the way every player without the ball stands around and jerks both hands is downright creepy.  There is no game progression or different teams to challenge.  That asphalt court is it for unlockables in this title (You will thank me for the spoiler alert) and let me remind everyone that this isn’t even a free game. One of the fun pieces of sports iOS games is the price is very minimal. I never complain about a buck spent, but this one gave me serious pause as to if I even wanted the game to remain on my phone once I was done playing.  Double Dribble Fast Break can’t live up to any 25 year-old nostalgic hype.



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  1. Sad. So what’s the best iOS basketball game? I could use some iOS sports in my life.

    • What’s challenging is that publishers can pull older games off of the app store, so you don’t have access to see what’s out there from a historical standpoint.

      Case in point – I have NBA Elite ’11 for iOS (yep, that cancelled PS3/Xbox360 one) but EA doesn’t have it out there any longer. A shame as it’s decent and one of the only 5-on-5 games for iOS.

      NBA Jam has gotten good reviews, and it is only $0.99 now.

      NBA2k12 is also out (released in December) and I’ll review that one soon. It’s $4.99 but there is a free Lite version.

      Definitely have to say, the fact you can try most of these out with the free version is really nice. There are a number of shovelware sports titles that I’ll peak at and just delete without sniffing at the full game.

    • NBA Jam.

  2. […] often questioned, and normally it is after suffering through a bad game like Double Dribble Fastbreak, “Yes, but what are the best sports titles out there?”  When it comes to basketball […]

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