Basketball Stars

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Basketball Stars App Poster Image
Fun, but full-court press for in-app purchases, gambling.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Easy to play, but controls can be a bit quirky, and there's no pause option during the game, so a kid either plays to the end of the game or loses. Some users report significant lag time.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

In-app purchases range from $0.99 to $99.99, and players have to "buy in" with game currency or real money to play against an opponent and bet on the game. Daily Spin & Win game to earn the play money uses in the game and other prizes, including things like headphones, basketballs, and sunglasses. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Basketball Stars simulates two kinds of competitions: a shooting race and a one-on-one game. Games cost in-game currency or real money to enter (against a real, online opponent), and then the winner gets the prize money with which you can buy stuff like shirts, hats, sunglasses, headphones, or new basketballs to customize your player (at the time of this review, there's no female player option). In-app purchases aren't required, but they're promoted heavily, ranging from $0.99 to $99.99 with no parent gate, and teens are essentially placing bets on their games. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byCis G. October 8, 2017

Basketball Stars

Exercise in frustration. Everything depends on luck. Fun to play for a bit but don’t waste money on it

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What's it about?

BASKETBALL STARS starts with a city street ball scene and a challenge: "Hey, let's see if you can shoot." A tutorial follows, and teens can choose whether they want to stay in practice mode or play against real people, either in a shoot-out or a one-on-one game. Shooting is made easy for beginners, as they simply swipe up to the "Perfect Power" level displayed on the app's visual meter and let it fly. Players get different points for various shots. It's also easy to find someone to play against; the app shows how many players are online at the time of play and matches you to an opponent. Players have to pay an entry fee to get into each game, and the winner takes all. Choose a player and customize his look with what you win in the gym bag, with in-game currency you win, or with real money. Play the Spin & Win game (once daily) to get more in-game currency.

Is it any good?

Hoops fans will appreciate the two fast-paced games on this app, but it gets a technical foul for the heavy push for in-app purchases, the pay-to-play sports premise, and the Spin & Win casino-style game. Even though the easy swipe gameplay and 3-D graphics are obviously attractive to kids, this app seems geared toward an older audience. Though it may score lots of fun points for many sports games enthusiasts, the gambling and purchases make it better for teens.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about spending real money on games. What are your rules for in-app purchases?

  • Discuss gambling and its risks. Why do people bet? How do you know when to stop?

  • Talk about the Spin & Win mini-game, which can only be played once a day and requires no gameplay skill to earn pretend money. Why would the app's developers make a lottery-style game such as Spin & Win part of a basketball app?

App details

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For kids who love sports

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