The confetti has fallen, the fans have celebrated and the NBA Finals are over. The Cavs have been crowned champion and now that it’s all over what do you do next? Well, I’ll give you one option. Head over to the Play Store and register download for the new NBA LIVE Mobile app. The fast-paced NBA action in the palm of your hands is sure to get you ready for next season.

Developer: Electronic Arts
Cost: Free with in-app purchases

Getting started

Like all apps, the first thing you have to do is go through a set-up process. This includes setting your age, login preference, username and favorite team. Afterwards, you go through the tutorial that includes teaching you how to shoot, pass, you know the basics. And of course, they will walk you through the app itself. After all, that you’re ready to play.

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Game Play

NBA LIVE Mobile isn’t too far off from another EA game called Madden NFL Mobile in terms of gameplay. While I won’t go into great depths explaining all the ins and outs, I’m going to give you the brief overview of how to get started in building your dynasty.

You are given four modes of play that include live events, head-to-head, season, and leagues. In order to play these modes, you have to build a team. You are given starter packs of players in which to play. These players have divided up automatically into different lineups based on different skills.

When playing a game of any kind you will choose which lineup you want to use unless otherwise noted. Some games require certain lineups for the challenge presented. Once you buy new player cards the are inserted into the appropriate lineups.

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Let’s touch on the different modes of play. Live events consist of your season games and various skill challenges that help you improve your skills. Some may be locked until you reach the appropriate skill level. Head-to-head games show all the people who are playing those games. You may challenge anyone to match-up.

NBA LIVE has an interesting take on head-to-head. Each player takes control of a quarter. Meaning, if you start a game with an opponent, you play the first and third quarter vs the other team’s AI team, and they take the 2nd and 4th quarter vs your AI. With this style of gameplay, there is less chance of lagging and ruining a game which makes it more enjoyable.

Playing a season is not much different than playing a season on traditional consoles. The exception being you don’t play as many games and each quarter last two minutes. But you do play the finals, but I couldn’t tell you what that’s like since I’m not very good. That means you’ll need to play and tweet me the experience. That’s a joke of course, except the part where I suck at the game.

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Finally, the last mode of gameplay is leagues. There are already a number of leagues that you can join or for 5,000 coins you can create a league. I would suggest joining a league to start.

You should also note that all events cost you stamina to play. You start off with 15 stamina and with each level you gain, you gain the ability to have more at one time. So after level ten you may be able to have 16 stamina instead of 15. After you use your stamina up it replenishes after a certain amount of time, or you can buy more with in-app purchases.

Controls

Controls are a short area to go over but let’s get through it quickly. At the bottom left you’re going to have your “joystick” to move your player around. Over on the right, it’s broken into two categories, offense and defense. Offense consist of pass, drive (sprint) and shoot while defense has two controls, guard, and block. Going through the tutorial will explain how to use these.

Here is a quick tip they don’t tell you that I learned while playing. When you hold down the guard button while on defense, letting go of the button and tapping it will help your player steal the ball.

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Everything else

To acquire all the extras, head over to the store and purchase various random player packs. You can use real money, or money you’ve earned by leveling up after games or beating certain challenges. The better you play, the more experience you get and faster you level up. If you want a specific player or want to get rid of excess players you can use the auction section. This is the feature they have that I didn’t even know I wanted but makes perfect sense.

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Review

EA has certainly stepped up its game with this amazing pocket version of basketball. The graphics are very smooth showing no signs of lag or hiccups. You can only do so much with graphics on mobile, but the movements and look of the players are exactly how they should be and not all, for a lack of a better word, janky.

I personally believe where most games like this fail are the controls. Developers seem to forget no matter how much you want it to be, it’s just isn’t a normal control pad. EA stepped up and made the controls the right way for mobile. Don’t think you’re going to get the same experience as a Playstation, after all, it’s still a phone.

Summary

NBA LIVE Mobile is an overall fun game to pick up and play. It’s simple enough for a novice to understand yet elegant enough for a seasoned gamer to enjoy on the go. I don’t normally see these games translating to mobile this smoothly.

It is still in beta but expected to come out this week. So head on over and preregister to get notified when it releases download NBA LIVE Mobile.

Down NBA LIVE at the Play Store