By Colin Mieczkowski
NBA Playgrounds is a game that combines streetball and an arcade style experience. It makes
for an over the top, fun basketball game.
When you first fire up the game, you receive your first player card pack. The card packs are
much like trading cards, and these cards unlock different NBA stars at random.
There are five players in each pack. Opening these packs are the key to unlocking every baller
in the game.
It’s a unique way to build rosters. It makes you anxious to see who you get in the next pack.
In gameplay, it’s 2 vs 2, with multiple settings. For example, you can do a 5 minute game, or
you have a score to reach, such as 40 points. Only difference is, it goes backwards. You start at
40 and the goal is to get down to zero.
The gameplay overall is a lot of fun, with insane dunks, acrobatic layups, and killer crossovers.
It’s a fast paced experience that will keep you on the edge of your seat, throughout a game.
The announcers are Ian Eagle, the great broadcaster for CBS and the YES Network and EJ
“The Mayor” Johnson, a longtime street basketball emcee. Although a little repetitive, they’re
announcing helps bring back the fun of arcade sports game broadcasting.
You can also play in tournament mode, which allows you play games in different cities around
the globe. These locations include New York City, Paris, London, Seattle and one of the newest
There’s four matches in each tournament on each court. The final match is viewed as a boss
battle, and the game is longer.
When you complete tournaments, you start to receive gold packs. Gold packs guarantee a
legend in the sport.
There are three types of players you can unlock: normal, Epic, and Legend. You are guaranteed
at least one Legend per gold pack.
A player like Oscar Robertson is a Legend while a player such as Dwyane Wade is an Epic. The
cool thing about Legends is that each one has his own special moves.
For example: if you use Dirk Nowitzki, he can do his iconic fadeaway jumper as a special ability.
These special moves have a higher shot success rate than a regular jumper.
In some players cases, the special moves aren’t shots. Legends like Allen Iverson and Magic
Johnson have a crossover and passing ability respectively.
Two of my go-to players are Dennis Rodman and Manu Ginobli, using Rodman for his
rebounding skills while using Ginobli for his three point shooting.
Both of them are Legends in-game, with Rodman having two special abilities. One is a unique
style of rebound, and the other is a special dunk. Ginobli’s signature ability is a layup that throws
fools defenders due to its slight hesitation.
Online, you can play either a match, or participate in a 3-point shootout with anyone around the
world. The 3-point contest is a new feature added in a recent update, and is a fast, and great
way to build your meter up, and grab a new card pack.
Once you reach level 50, you will receive a gold pack every single time. Playing a full game is a
great way to get your complete basketball fix while getting challenged by your online opponent.
In both, the 3-point contest and in a match, you can play in either, an unranked or ranked game.
When playing ranked, like in most games, you get an opportunity to get your name up on the
Overall, NBA Playgrounds is a fun basketball game that does a great job of blending, streetball,
arcade gameplay, and an NBA flare. The best part of all is that the game continues to get
updated with new players, courts and game modes.
If you love arcade games, street basketball, and the NBA, Playgrounds is a great, simple game