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iPhone Game Review: NBA Live by EA Sports
      #35171 - 11/18/09 05:29 AM

iPhone Game Review: NBA Live by EA Sports

Electronic Arts is releasing amazing games for iPhone and iPOD Touch devices. After FIFA 2010 now it is time for some real basketball.

NBA Live brings an unique experience with all 30 NBA teams including an outstanding 82 game Season Mode. The content and replay value are definitely here.

Along with Season Mode you can relax and just pick up and play an Exhibition game or even only the Playoffs.

I am yet to see a game that does not run fine in an iPhone 3GS and NBA is not an exception. Loading time is fast and I assume it is reasonable in older devices, considering I used to play a lot in my old iPhone 3G.

The presentation is up to EA Sports series with a modern soundtrack, well designed interface and lots of settings to play with such as quarter length, AI and penalties difficulty.


We all know basketball and how to play it but what makes a good gameplay in a device that does not have a physical d-pad is the controls.

EA designed a free d-pad at left and only two buttons at right making the basic plays really easy to make. Note that lefty controls are available.

The d-pad controls the player direction (flick the blue button to dribble). Double tap it to run.

While attacking, tap the blue button to pass or tap and hold it to select a player manually. Tap the red button to shoot, tap and hold it to dunk or tap and flick it to do a trick dunk. While in defense, tap the blue to attempt to steal and the red one to block or get a rebound.

The free throw is accelerometer based by default (touch is also available). It mimics a natural move. You tilt towards to you than forward like if the iPhone was a ball. It works well. The default setting is easy and unless I am really good it is indeed easy. However, you can change the free throw difficulty level apart from the game difficulty itself.

The in game tutorial and help are very easy to follow and you will be playing in no time.

Try some Exhibition games first so you can get use to the controls. Once you understand them it will be a lot easier to read what is going on. Ten players in a small screen may confuse some of us but after some games this possible issue decreases a lot. So be patience initially.

Fortunately the game can properly resume. This is very important in a game that can deliver such great content.


Although sometimes we see a player out of bounds the graphics and animations are great.

The automatic replay, that we see in some plays, is also a nice touch making the experience even better. If you don?t want to see it just tap it.


Good sounds effects make the gameplay even more immersive but as it happens with e.g. FIFA 2010 the commentaries are less frequent than expected and too repetitive.

Soundtrack is top-notch and it features tracks by Snoop Dogg, Xzibit, and Matt and Kim. But you can select your own songs if you prefer.


30 NBA teams
Polished graphics and interface
Good sounds and music
3 game modes
Setup game length and difficulty
In game tutorial
It can properly resume
It supports iPOD music


Player out of bounds sometimes
Few and repetitive commentaries


NBA Live is an outstanding game that delivers a full basketball experience. An unique game for the iPhone and iPod Touch devices.

Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics: -4.5- polished graphics and interface
Sound: -4- good music, sound effects but few commentaries
Controls: -4.5- easy to learn controls
Gameplay: -4.5- 3 game modes

Playing Hints and Tips:

Make sure to play the Tutorial first
As soon as you start a season or playoffs tap Setup to select game and penalties difficulty

Game Facts:
Developer: Electronic Arts
Release Date: Oct 26, 2009
Genre: Sport
Price: $9.99
Size: 101 MB
Buy Game: iTunes App Store

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