NBA Playgrounds Image
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63

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 90 Ratings

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  • Summary: Up your game

    Classic NBA arcade action is back! Take your A game to the playground and beat the best in high-flying 2-on-2 basketball action. Practice your skills, play with up to three others on your Nintendo Switch and use your talents to posterize your opponents with acrobatic jams and
    Up your game

    Classic NBA arcade action is back! Take your A game to the playground and beat the best in high-flying 2-on-2 basketball action. Practice your skills, play with up to three others on your Nintendo Switch and use your talents to posterize your opponents with acrobatic jams and ridiculous displays of skill. Collect your favorite players from a massive roster of current and retired NBA superstars from every team. Travel to playgrounds across the globe to compete against the very best with your massive arsenal of dunks and moves. Use your fine-tuned skills to take on the master of the playground himself Allen Iverson.
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Trailer

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NBA Playgrounds - Official Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. Jun 19, 2017
    80
    NBA Playgrounds is a really fun and quirky title. The lack of online play at launch is a big omission and although the game lacks replayability, the arcade aesthetics, easy to use controls and whirlwind gameplay make this game extremely enjoyable in short bursts. I found the game better on handheld rather than playing off a TV, due to its ‘on the move’ vibe, and in that respect, it's undoubtedly a nice game to just unwind with and enjoy for what it is.
  2. May 15, 2017
    70
    NBA Playgrounds isn't the new NBA Jam, but is fun and solid with friends.
  3. May 15, 2017
    70
    NBA Playgrounds is a fun addition to the arcade basketball genre, especially on the Nintendo Switch. The game isn't without some flaws though. The AI is unfair and the shooting mechanics are very tough to master. Releasing the game without its online mode is also a strange choice. That being said, the game offers more than enough to allow fans of NBA Jam and NBA Street to have a good time. Let's just hope that Saber will soon fix the game's issues.
  4. May 15, 2017
    65
    The entire experience is one that’s reminiscent of NBA Jam, but never provides the same levels of joy you’re after.
  5. 60
    While I had fun with the single-player, NBA Playgrounds is mostly a mess otherwise. The basic gameplay requires specific timing that is never well articulated. Load times on the Switch version are nearly indefensibly long. For those hoping for some kind of modern-day NBA Jam-like experience from Playgrounds, look elsewhere. This is just a convoluted footnote in the modern arcade sports landscape.
  6. May 9, 2017
    60
    If there’s never another arcade-style hoops title for Switch, then Playgrounds certainly meets my bare-minimum needs. It could have been so much more though, and as such I’m hoping Saber Interactive comes back with a fleshed-out second attempt (maybe another sport?) sometime down the road. In the meantime, Playgrounds delivers the outrageous exhibitions you’re looking for - just don’t expect it to provide much else.
  7. 40
    A new NBA arcade game will always be something to get excited about. Many of us have fond memories of dropping coins into those arcade cabinets back in the day. A game that can capture that raw sense of fun, while modernising the more archaic elements would instantly become one of the most entertaining games of the year. I’m sure the developers went into NBA Playgrounds with the most noble of intentions, but this game is not the NBA I remembered. This game is one that young me would never have considered to be worth my allowance.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 28
  2. Negative: 10 out of 28
  1. Jul 14, 2018
    10
    Brilliant. So easy to pick up and play. Doesn't overcomplicate anything and makes basketball fun.
  2. May 11, 2017
    8
    Overall I think this is a great game. It's type of game that's easy to learn, but hard to master.
    I actually prefer this NBA Jam, as it's
    Overall I think this is a great game. It's type of game that's easy to learn, but hard to master.
    I actually prefer this NBA Jam, as it's more challenging in terms of the mechanics and the AI - I found Jam far too easy.

    The main reason I picked up this game however, is for online play - which isn't available yet, but apparently is coming soon.

    If you're looking for a game that's a fun 'pick up and play' then this is for you!

    There only 2 things I think could be improved is 1. The load times. 2. The vibration of the joycons is a bit too much at times.
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  3. May 10, 2017
    7
    Boomshakalaka!!!

    An arcade basketball game for the Switch is here! Unfortunately it "throws up a brick" in certain aspects. Not as good
    Boomshakalaka!!!

    An arcade basketball game for the Switch is here! Unfortunately it "throws up a brick" in certain aspects. Not as good as the legendary NBA Jam, but still it is v. satisfying to unlock and play using legends like Magic Johnson, John Stockton etc

    Only had chance to play solo on this on a docked Switch on a big screen. I think like many I was drawn to the NBA Jam comparisons and decided to buy this without reading the reviews. I remember having a lot of fun on the Megadrive playing NBA Jan against mates and absolutely loving the commentary.

    I reckon if you've bought this and intend to play against the AI you are going to be a little disappointed as the random nature of the power ups definitely make for an uneven game - hopefully this gets sorted in any patches that might come later. Some of the mechanics around the of timing dunks and shots are frustrating, but I think mastery will hopefully come in time.

    It takes a while to load between sections which is a bit of buzz killer, but not a deal breaker for me. I think the Switch is born to be a local multiplayer machine and I'm hoping that NBA Playgrounds will really sparkle in that respect. At the price it's being offered with a huge roster of players, I reckon it's a decent stab at the genre.
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  4. May 13, 2017
    6
    When I first saw the trailer of NBA Playgrounds I thought to myself, "Oh wow, this is a must buy, it reminds me so much of NBA JAM", boy was IWhen I first saw the trailer of NBA Playgrounds I thought to myself, "Oh wow, this is a must buy, it reminds me so much of NBA JAM", boy was I disappointed... At first the game looks fun, some jams are really cool, the AI makes moves that don't even require a ball, but the first fun cool impression collapses pretty fast.
    I'm gonna start with the many, many cons I have encountered so far.
    Let's begin with... the options menu, if we may call it that way, where there is absolutely nothing you can change, except the sound volume, surprisingly enough I have a remote control. The other option you can change is commentary on/off. I thought "Why would anyone want to turn off the commentary", after 3 games I wanted to turn it off. The number of lines feels like I'm back to 1994, you can hear all the lines in just one match, oh yes that is true babyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.
    I don't like that there are hardly any modes you can play, after you beat tournament mode, which happens pretty fast, you are stuck with only exhibition, which doesn't offer much. I can't start a solo training, or 1v1 or 21 or any other of the fun modes NBA JAM had to offer. There is absolutely nothing here, no big head mode or other fun stuff.
    Now let's move on to the gameplay. The main problem I have is that in order to execute a successful shot, you need to hold the button for just the right amount of time. The only problem is, you never know the right amount, no one teaches you, and nothing changes in a visual way if you somehow manage to hit that sweet spot and get an extra point. The roulette bonus system is fun, I like it so far, after all this is an arcade game, not a simulator, I don't agree as much with the extra points, who the AI manages to pull every time. I can't begin a training on my own, I can't practice, I can only play against a computer. And to mention, there is some kind of a tutorial which is pretty bad, and you can get to the training through the options menu :) You have to unlock new players by opening packs, which is a weird decision, I don't dislike it very much so far, I just find it unnecessary. In general the game feels like it was made in just few days without much depth, not even into the game play not even into the modes the game could offer. I was looking forward for this and hoping for a new NBA JAM, a game that may be 7 years old now, but damn, I would prefer playing JAM anytime than this. The game just feels cheap. Anyway I am still looking forward for the online mode, I believe I will be having much more fun against real players, and I am hoping to see more modes released over time, but let's get real, this is not gonna happen, the game is released just to collect some money and I doubt that it will receive any kind of further support.
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  5. May 11, 2017
    5
    NBA Playground brings back MANY memories of NBA JAM for me.

    Pros: -Fun Game play: Easy to pick up and play. -Ability to play as current
    NBA Playground brings back MANY memories of NBA JAM for me.

    Pros:
    -Fun Game play: Easy to pick up and play.
    -Ability to play as current and former players is really fun.
    -Games go pretty quick.
    -Very challenging, which is fun.
    -Nearly unlimited options in making your team.

    Cons:
    -ALL current players should be available (that were intended to be in the game) Having to play for hours to "hope" to open up your current home team players is ridiculous and terrible design decision.
    - Questionable AI. sometimes the "bonuses" string together for the AI in ways that are ridiculous, near to "controller throwing" level of frustration. Other times it's like you are playing against a group of little kids in skill level (this is against the same team in a tournament)
    - Unreal how long it takes to load EACH game you play. Wow, it's a set the controller down, go grab a drink, get some snacks, come back and maybe it will be ready to play.

    Overall: Worth the $20, I bought for a new version of NBA JAM, which I half got. but I'm very unhappy with how you get your players to choose from. I would 100% understand if all the current players are available, and through game play you have to unlock the legends and former players. Seems like a terrible model for the game, that I see as a design decision, not a part of the "rushed to market" I've heard about.

    About the Shot mechanics, i've see others mention. They were VERY tough the first few games, but have gotten it down for jump shots. I still struggle with Dunks and Alley Oops, but it is getting easier as it goes on.

    I did not purchase for on-line play, so have no comment on the on-line play aspect.
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  6. Jul 10, 2017
    4
    Its a good game but the Switch version sucks, they need to add the DLC and the online play. Other then that it's mostly a good game. But theIts a good game but the Switch version sucks, they need to add the DLC and the online play. Other then that it's mostly a good game. But the Steals challenge in Las Vegas is way too hard Expand
  7. Sep 25, 2017
    0
    Would give at least 7, but online play is so fundamental for this game and so broken. Played 4 games, 3 times opponent disconnected (afterWould give at least 7, but online play is so fundamental for this game and so broken. Played 4 games, 3 times opponent disconnected (after being inactive when losing) - and no points awarded... And at the fourth game the other player was inactive, then the game crashed and I received a penalty. Wtf?! Otherwise a good game. Expand

See all 28 User Reviews