A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
NBA Jam by EA Sports wasn't created with educational intent, and we don’t recommend it for learning.
Ease of Play
EA has managed to transition this game wonderfully from game consoles, making it easy to pick up and inviting even to the most casual of basketball game players.
Violence & Scariness
Players can shove opponents to the floor to steal the ball.
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Products & Purchases
The game features an "NBA Jam Store" from the main menu, letting users buy unlockable characters via in-app purchases. Prices range from 99 cents to $2.99.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that NBA JAM by EA Sports is an arcade basketball game that focuses on monster jams rather than realistic shots. Players control actual athletes from the NBA in two-on-two games that are filled with over-the-top trick shots. Aggressive players can shove opponents to the ground to steal the ball. As with the console version, players can unlock political figures like President Obama and Bill Clinton to use as players. The game does not have multiplayer elements, but it does allow in-app purchases for characters, which can range from 99 cents to $2.99. Those characters can also be unlocked through achievements in the game. This review is based on the iOS version of the game; the Android version may have differences in functionality.
Is It Any Good?
NBA JAM BY EA SPORTS is, quite simply, a heck of a lot of fun to play. Easy to pick up and anything but complicated in its rules, the game focuses solely on the most outlandish parts of the sport -- monster slam dunks and huge blocks of opponents' shots. It's a bit more aggressive than other basketball games, but the violence is arcade-like and not too concerning. The game further offers impressive visuals and keeps the adrenaline pumping with announcer Tim Kitzrow's "boomshakalaka"-infused running commentary. The biggest disappointment is the lack of any multiplayer mode, as this is one of those titles that's more fun with friends.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.