Stardunk is a huge, online multiplayer, basketballing extravaganza. With drop dead gorgeous graphics, superb music and compulsive gameplay, it has been popular on the iPhone for some time. Now let loose on the Android Market, it should add significantly to its 4 million downloads. You really should look at this, it’s something quite special.
Pros & Cons:
Thriving online community of players.
Lots of players online all the time.
Global scoring and rankings.
Compulsive and addictive gameplay.
Simple to pick up and play.
Lots of customizations.
Much of the customizations are only available through building up lots of SP or buying it directly.
Stardunk gameplay will be very familiar to fans of previous basketball games on Android. Simply create an accurate trajectory for the balls to score, release and watch it fly in. However, in Stardunk you are playing the game in space. The graphics are absolutely gorgeous in this game and it cannot be stressed enough that there are few games available that are prettier than Stardunk. The intricate backgrounds and the careful trails as the ball flies through the stratosphere are a sight you just have to see, and the celebratory explosions when you score each basket are just plain cool. Menus too are smooth, fluid and easy to use, making for an enjoyable user experience.
While there is some offline gaming, Stardunk is all about playing online in regular competitions. You get 2 minutes to hit as many baskets as you can. You score points by making clean shots, successive scores and additional bonuses. The backboard, while incredibly forgiving of wayward shots, is essentially 4 panels which when you hit them light up. Light them all and it unlocks some short term bonus features such as 3 balls per throw or extra scoring- where (*ahem*) your balls glow. Keep going until the time runs out and see how you have done against the various other players in the game. Now, I’m not suggesting this is tough but I missed 2 baskets in one particular game and didn’t even make the top half of the 300 players involved. Your position in the games leadership is displayed to one side and your position can be noted by red if you are going down the ranking, orange if you’re staying in the same position or green if you are on the way up. While this is great, it’s not as if you have much time to monitor this very often- gameplay is frantic and you have to press on and score as many points as you can. If you can stretch your eyes away for a split second longer, you’ll notice the globe in the background rotate to the country and ID of those in the top few places, work hard and it might be you!
At the end of the game you get to see how you did and who thrashed beat you. There really are some incredible players on there but it’s great if you can make the top half, at least to begin with. There are also global scores and rankings to view, to perhaps see how much you need to progress. I should mention the scoring is all tied in with OpenFeint so your ID will be shown through the game.
The game doesn’t stop there as, throughout, you collect SP’s. An SP can be used to unlock themes, new balls (colors, qualities and designs) and a host of other features and bonuses. Now, you are going to have to be pretty hardcore to accumulate enough SP to get much of these. The alternative is buying extra SP directly. This is a little disappointing, but it really doesn’t affect the gameplay itself, it’s mostly for slightly different aesthetics to the game, I would guess it’s up to you how much of a price you put on that.