We already reported in advance that the new mobile Niantic game “NBA All-World” will be released this Tuesday. This is again an officially licensed, location-based free-to-play game, but this time with an NBA license. A few days ago I had the chance to take a look at the game and the upcoming content in the form of a presentation together with other press representatives. The game is now available for iOS and Android in the respective app stores. It doesn’t cost anything, but you can expect various in-game purchase options for special content.
As you explore the map, you’ll keep encountering NBA player NPCs that you can defeat in mini-games and then recruit for your team. These can then also be leveled up and may then also be equipped with equipment (here there are partnerships with companies such as Adidas, Puma and Co.). Not only can you connect with friends, but you can also chat and host 1v1 tournaments with in-game items up for grabs. Niantic is currently promoting the following core features for NBA All-World:
I’m currently still rather divided on the game after the presentation felt a little too much like a promotional event for loot boxes in EA titles. The background to this is that a lot of value is placed on items and the acquisition of such items, some of which are rare. You get in-game items on the map in locations where they might be found in the real world. In other words: shoe items will be grazed at shoe shops, in-game currency will appear at the bank and so on. It is said that numerous events are already planned, and in addition to tips, there should also be so-called stories in the game, where basketball-related content is offered in video and text form.
The higher your player level in the game, the more NBA players should be able to be recruited. Your equipment should also be adjustable, but you can certainly spend a lot of money in the in-game shop. If there is no real basketball court in your area (keyword village or other low-traffic areas) – because that’s exactly where they should appear in the game – then one of the next POIs from the Niantic database will be designated a virtual court, where tournaments will then be held let play In addition, you should be able to expand your own skill set, with which your team can then stand out from your opponent. You should also be able to create your own teams. Various game types were mentioned in the presentation as mini-games to unlock the players. These include 3 Point Shootout, First to 5, Beat the Clock and more – with more game types to come in the future. But if you are thinking of tricky tasks here, it should be said that all of these games can currently still be mastered with simple tapping and swiping gestures.
At the moment I really hope that my fears about the heavy focus on microtransactions will not come true. So it was not only said that there might be an XP boost available, but that there should also be time-limited items that could certainly lure a few euros out of pocket for one or the other. The items cannot be exchanged at the beginning of the game, but the suggestion from the press was well received by the development team. There will also be only PVE content for the time being, i.e. “fights against NPCs” – player-versus-player content will follow later.
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