Gasketball

App review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
Gasketball App Poster Image
Fun reinvention of H.O.R.S.E. game shines with multiplayer.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Gasketball wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Ease of Play

You'll earn points for completing shots in a certain number of tries in the single player game, but if you don't you can keep trying until you succeed. Multiplayer shots are as easy or as difficult as the players set them up to be. The game lacks a tutorial, though, which could confuse some players. 

Violence

A robot can burn the basketball with his laser, but no violence is implied. He's just trying to help speed things along. Spinning saw blades can cut balls in half, but again, it's not done in a violent manner. 

Sex

There's no sexual content in the game, but opponents in multiplayer matches can send notes to the player; it's possible they could contain sexual references. 

Language

There's no iffy language in the game, but opponents in multiplayer matches can send notes to the player; it's possible they could contain iffy language.

Consumerism

Players can upgrade to a full version of the game for $2.99 -- something the game is very aggressive about promoting. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The game itself has no references to drinking, drugs, or smoking, but opponents in multiplayer matches can send notes to the player; it's possible they could contain such references.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Gasketball is a trick-shot oriented version of the basketball game H-O-R-S-E. Players either replicate shots by the game or play against human opponents through the Game Center social network. Those opponents are able to send messages to players, which could potentially be offensive or inappropriate. The game is free, but pushes hard for players to pay $2.99 to unlock the full version. Players can also share high scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.

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What's it about?

Players attempt to shoot basketballs into goals, either following the lead of the game's artificial intelligence or other human players. By setting up obstacles (such as barriers, saw blades or pinball flippers), they will also attempt to create shots other (human) players cannot make. In multiplayer, if you fail to make the shot after five tries, you earn a letter. The first to spell \"horse\" loses. (In single-player, you can try as often as you'd like.) Shooting the ball is a matter of flicking it on screen with your finger.

Is it any good?

Gasketball gets it right. It's a game that, despite its lack of a tutorial, is easy to comprehend, but hard to master. That makes it replayable -- and boy will you replay it. The single-player mode is fun, but it's multiplayer where it really shines. Adding a human element to create difficult (sometimes near impossible) shots gives the game a spark of life others are missing.

The constant ads to upgrade to the full version are distracting, but a one-time minimal payment tops the death by 1,000 cuts microtransaction model -- and the price is a good one for the game's quality. This could be your next obsession.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: August 14, 2012
  • Category: Sports Games
  • Size: 46.80 MB
  • Publisher: Mikengreg
  • Version: 1.02
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.3 or later

For kids who love sports and action

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