There are a few games that I can recall that have a slam dunk reference (not the anime, mind you). In “Scrap Garden” there’s a place where you can shoot some hoops and get an achievement, and in “Borderlands: the Pre-Sequel” there’s the Space Slam mission where you have to do a jump pad launch and perform a slam dunk while literally on fire (optional but a sin if you don’t it at least once). Crimson Pine Games developed a mobile app based on slam dunks by doing the most absurd yet awesome styles to dunk while wearing a suit. “Mascot Dunks” comes in all the way from downtown but it came with some billboards to show.
“Mascot Dunks” is a one tap button game where the objective is to be the best slammer out there. Tap the screen to land on the trampolines and once more to dunk it in the hoop (fire not suggested if it voids the warranty). Just keep slamming until you botch up and try to land dead center on the trampolines to earn coins to unlock a random mascot. Over time you’ll unlock new methods of slam dunking the ball (by that I mean animations), though before slamming the ball the game chooses which style the mascot will use even though it goes into bullet time. This is also one of those fun little mobile games that is ad heavy. You get an ad when you boot the game, want to use a revive after a botch, ending the session after a botch, and claiming 100 coins. Getting a VIP pass will clear up any ads in the game, while giving you ad free revives and randomly unlocking 50% of the mascot roster. And with a price of $1.99 it’s a sensible purchase with benefits just to get rid of the ads.
There are twenty mascots in the game, but they are only cosmetic to the gameplay. You can still use any of the slam dunk styles you unlock with any of them so it just gives you the option for playing a character that catches your eye. You can either randomly unlock a mascot or buy them for $0.99 (one of them can be unlocked by liking the developer on Facebook). Quite a bit of pocket-money to spend on an app but I’m sure there have been far worse offenders when it came to micro transactions for cosmetics (especially in the Free to Play range). Twenty of them are plenty to play with but their customization is limited to color pallets; some may have two while others can have more. But I guess you shouldn’t slap so much on them since they have ragdoll physics (which look like physics in a flash game). As for their animations they have simple run, drop, and jumping for flash dolls, but their dunk styles are the main attraction with moves like the Tomahawk and the Superman.
The court is full of objects that have their own collision box (so they would react to how you land on them) and full house of spectators. The foreground audience is just the back of a lot of people’s head, though it’s the best place to tap the screen so you can see the mascot and their shadow (for aiming). As for the background it is full of faceless spectators that react to your mascot’s success and failure (complete with cheers and other voiced reactions). Along the sides are adverts for some of Crimson Pine’s released titles (which are the best ads I’ve seen in the game).
The sidelines will change color for every four dunks you make, though getting that far may be a bit tricky if the animation lags. Occasionally, for a fraction of a second, the animation will lag, which will cause you miss when you thought you made the target. This can be annoying even after you just used a revive after watching an ad (though I wouldn’t be surprised if the lag was caused by ads).
Aside from the crowds going wild there’s band music you’d expect from high school/college game. The tracks have a good rhythm to them but don’t use them as metronome for jumping since the trampolines have different set patterns that are randomly placed after a dunk. They do, however, give you some well deserved fanfare for every four slam dunks you make. The only voice actor in the game is the announcer, and he’s as easily amused as you are (considering how the slam dunk styles are bizarre). He’s only to limited to stock catchphrases that are randomly inserted after every dunk, such as “Slam Dunk” or “I’m leaving the building”. But why would you leave the building when a mascot dunk the ball with its legs while airborne is beyond me.
+ Very good slam dunk game to kill time with.
+ Plenty of things to unlock with a cost efficient VIP option.
+ Good graphics: ragdoll physics, animated spectators, and self advertisement.
– A bit on the ad heavy side.
– Occasional graphics lags
Replay value: 4/5
Crimson Pine Games “Mascot Dunks” is a fun mobile app to play and kill some time with, with some unlockables to obtain as you try to get far. The ads can kill it for you but it’s worth considering the $1.99 price to remove them, with the added bonuses of reduced mascot costs let alone unlocking half the roster (otherwise you would just have to deal with the Adception). In any cause you can come and slam if you want to jam.
Title: Mascot Dunks
Developer: Crimson Pine Games
Genre: Casual One Tap Game
Resolution: 480 x 854
Release date: 2017-02-16
Spent time: 2+ hours
Average grade internationally: N/A as of writing Gamerankings.com
PEGI/ESRB age rating: PEGI 3+/Everyone
Price: Free (Micro Transactions)
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
More by David Lucas: