I grew up playing the NBA Jam series, so when I heard that EA was reviving the series on multiple platforms, I was more than excited. I was so stoked when I heard about it being re-released for the major consoles, I totally forgot about the possibility of a mobile version of this arcade smash hit. Boy, EA Mobile did not disappoint, NBA JAM HD for the iPad is a clear cut winner.
EA has found success with the iPhone version, and everyone was waiting to see how it would translate with to the bigger screen. It was also a great idea for the developers to wait for the iPad 2 launch before they released the iPad version. The graphics are exactly what you would expect an NBA JAM game to look like, top knotch! Once you get use to the awkward game controls, you find that the gameplay is exactly like the console version. 360 Slam dunks, turbo, shot blocking, it’s all there on your iPad.
Some of the big updates you’ll notice if you’re coming over from the iPhone version is the addition of local multiplayer. NBA JAM HD offers local multiplayer games through WiFi or Bluetooth, and enables two players to go head-to-head. Probably the coolest thing about the multiplayer is that EA has made it so iPad players can play against iPhone players, and vice versa.
Although I’ve only briefly played around with the game, so far I am impressed. The only thing I did notice was that EA offers several in-app purchases to unlock various players and leagues. Usually I stay away from games that advertise in-app purchases, but I found out that you unlock those same features by completing levels in career mode, just like the console version.
If you grew up playing NBA JAM in the arcade or on your Sega Genesis, or have been holding out for the iPad version to be released, there is no need to wait any longer. This is definitely retro gaming at its best, and definitely one of better iPad games out there.
NBA JAM HD is available now in iTunes App Store for $9.99. One last thing to note is that this is not a universal app, so if you have already purchased the iPhone version, you’re gonna have to shell more cash for the iPad version. Don’t worry you will be screaming “He’s on fire” and “Boomshakalaka!” in no time!