For those of you who don’t know, the Harlem Globetrotters are a basketball team notorious for their amazing trick shots. They never cease to amaze with their intricate moves, no matter how impractical they are.
Now, if you set a Globetrotter’s game about 1,000 years in the future, you’d have Gasketball. Gasketball takes your typical basketball game and makes it into a trick shot free-for-all. As the game goes on, the trick shots become more and more impressive. Can you stand up to the challenge?
Like many other applications I use, one of the initial things that drove me towards Gasketball was the amazing design. The game sports a very colorful, doodle-esque design that always looks great in an iOS app.
The reason I love this style so much is because it lightens up the game a little bit. It allows the game to be what it wants to be, not something that strives to be as realistic as possible. Therefore, it makes it more of a novelty and all the more enjoyable to play.
The goal of Gasketball is simple: flick the basketball into the basket. You get five tries to get the ball into the basket in each level (each level consists of three parts). When you miss the basket, you can tap on the ball to abort the mission. If you fail to complete the level in five tries, you will not be awarded a medal for the level.
A little flick goes a long way. Flicking the ball too hard can cost you a life.
Of course, the game doesn’t remain as easy as flicking the ball into the basket. As you progress, the game will throw in certain obstructions and limitations which will make it harder to complete levels.
The most prominent limitation is what I like to call “contact queuing.” In just about every level, there will be an object highlighted in red. To pass the level, the ball must hit that object first. The ball is also supposed to make contact with all the objects highlighted in white before entering the basket; by doing so, you earn a lot of bonus points.
Gasketball also has several different obstructions and obstacles. You will need to tailor your shot to go in with objects such as teleporters, conveyor belts, chainsaws and even gravity shifters in the way. New objects are introduced in each world, which makes the game continually interesting.
As if the main levels weren’t enough of a challenge, the developers also added a bonus level to each and every world. The Shot Attack levels put your skills to the test.
The Shot Attack level consists of every part of each level in the world. There is a time limit, but no shot limit. The goal is to play through as many baskets as you can within the given time. While this level doesn’t really attribute to anything, it still is a really fun addition.
Gasketball also has two different multiplayer modes for you to play with your friends (or some random strangers from Gamecenter).
If you’re playing locally, there is a 1-on-1 mode that takes on a split-screen style gameplay. The goal is to make more baskets than your opponent can in 30 seconds. Each time you play, a new court is randomly spawned which makes the game interesting time and time again.
If you’re looking to play a friend that lives elsewhere or even just a random stranger, you can revive your childhood recess by playing a game of H.O.R.S.E. The goal is to set up a trick shot your opponent will have trouble making within 15 shots. If you can’t make a shot, you receive a letter; the first person to spell “horse” loses.
Before each round of H.O.R.S.E., you will spin a wheel that will determine a limitation. Limitations can make your shot more complex by making you use certain objects in your shot or creating a hard environment to work in.
Currently, Gasketball is available for free in the App Store. Seems awesome, right? Well, soon after playing all of the levels in “The Field House” level, I learned that the only way to unlock the next levels is via an in-app purchase.
I opted to pay the extra $2.99 to unlock everything forever, which I highly suggest. By doing so, you gain yourself full access to all the levels in the game at press time as well as all content available in future updates. Granted, this is quite annoying and probably causes many to turn away from the app entirely.
All in all, Gasketball is definitely a prime iOS game. Gameplay is super fun, challenging and addictive, making it a game that you can play in short bursts or for hours on end. It also features a great multiplayer mode that is fun to play with friends. Of course, the game boasts fun graphics that are truly out of this world.
The only thing that holds Gasketball back from a perfect rating is the sneaky marketing of the application. While it is pitched as a free app, you have to pay at least $2.99 to get the full game. Granted, you do get tons of content for your buck, and the game is always pointing to more content coming soon. For those reasons, I highly recommend this game to anyone willing to pay to upgrade.