NBA Baller Beats

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
NBA Baller Beats Game Poster Image
Rhythm game about dribbling a real basketball to music.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

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

Positive Messages

The game encourages physical activity through dribbling a basketball and performing other moves. There is no violence or other inappropriate content in this game except for some suggestive lyrics.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Gamers choose what NBA basketball team they want to play on, but they do not play as a specific player.

Ease of Play

The core gameplay is simple enough -- bounce the basketball to the beat -- but additional moves and fatigue kick in.

Violence
Sex

There are some suggestive lyrics in the game from songs such as Cee Lo Green's "It's OK" ("I can still smell her perfume in my sheets/But that's not her in my bed") and Young MC's "Bust A Move" ("Girls are scantily clad and showin' body").

Language

Some of the songs feature mildly suggestive lyrics.

Consumerism

The game features NBA imagery, including team logos, as well as Spalding branding and artist and song information listed on the screen like a music video.

 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that NBA Baller Beats is an active game that combines the sport of basketball with music. Players try to bounce a real basketball to the beat of different songs offered in the game. Some of the music contains suggestive lyrics.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

What do you get when you combine basketball dribbling with a rhythm-based music game like Guitar Hero? The answer is NBA BALLER BEATS, a motion-sensing game designed to work with Kinect for Xbox 360. After you've set up your Kinect sensor, which monitors your movements in front of the television (and the ball you're holding), Majesco Entertainment's game has you choose a favorite NBA team, difficulty level (rookie to pro), and a song to play through (from popular hip-hop and pop artists including LMFAO, Kanye West, Lady Gaga, Tiesto, Common, Skrillex, Queen, and more). Similar to other music games like Guitar Hero, Rock Band or Tap Tap Revenge, icons float down the screen and you must bounce the ball in time with the beat.

While dribbling, you'll be prompted to switch between your right and left hand and perform 20 other moves such as through-the-legs dribbles, behind-the-back crossovers, or around-the-world finger rolls. Kinect's sensors and camera capture your dribbling and other movements. Like other music games, you're graded on your performance by receiving points and star rating out of five. Play well and you can also earn achievements and unlock additional assets (such as virtual trading cards, posters, and songs) and bonus gaming content. NBA Baller Beats lets you take in-game photos of your ball handling to share with friends on Facebook.

Is it any good?

The game is a mixed bag.  On one hand, gamers (and their parents) will appreciate the physical activity by dribbling through each song -- but on the flipside, parents, spouses, or siblings might grow annoyed by the constant thump-thump-thump on the family room floor. Those who live in an apartment or condo must also be aware of this. Another issue is if the ball gets away from you, and it will, you risk breaking something on, say, a coffee table, end table, or even your HDTV itself. And the game requires quite a bit of room (Majesco suggests 7 to 10 feet from the TV) so expect to see a warning about moving back further if you creep forward toward your television throughout the song.

But along with the 30-odd songs, the game offers a couple of different modes, including a Move Skill practice mode and a head-to-head multiplayer mode for up to eight players. There's a lot of gameplay here. Capable of making you a better ball-handler, NBA Baller Beats is ideal for those who love hoops, hip-hop, and rhythm games –- and you'll certainly get a good workout from playing it. But be sure to have a large playing space and move anything delicate or valuable out of the way before you begin dribbling to the beat.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether this game is a good idea or not. It encourages activity and exercise but basketballs can break items in a home and produce loud sounds when dribbled on a carpet or floor.

  • Do your prefer playing games that are active? If so, why?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love active games and music

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