I finally had the chance to sit down with an opponent to play through a full game of Pocket Basketball since the new games arrived.
Playtesting had heralded some great feedback from the Board Game Designers Forum and as with all our games....playing heads up with a friend..with a healthy competitive streak...brings every Pocket Sports game to a different level than solo play. It gave us the chance to preview game 1 of the NBA Finals - San Antonio Spurs vs Miami Heat.
I won't recall the ball by ball replay of the game, howvever it certainly expolored all apsect of the rules and pushed the limits of the dice!
The game started with both of us rolling to see who won the tip off. The first run down court by the Heat was quite standard. PG passed to C - slam dunk - 2 pts. On the reverse play, the same happened - PG to C - slam dunk - 2 pts. Both big men on the scoresheet and it was game on after that moment......for the Heat anyway!
I must admit, as the game designer, I've rolled and playetested some many games....I thought I'd seen it all. Surprisingly the atmosphere of playing someone else new to the game was exciting as much as painful, as I rolled for the Spurs and they missed shots, had the ball stolen and commited 'Flagrant fouls'. All the while my opponent 'swooshed' and dunked all too easily to take a 12 - 2 lead after the 1st quarter.
When your players shoot in Pocket Basketball, your opponent rolls the defense die. This sets the level of defense that I must meet or roll higher than to score the basket. While this mechanic is a simple new addition, it really does heighten the tension of each basket.
Designing all of our games result in one common theme during gameplay...and that's the commentary of the ingame action, by people playing. It's amazing to hear how "LeBron is on fire" after the PF jams a dunk, or the frustration when a shot misses, met with some "In yo' face!" joy from your opponent. You can't explain the mental visualization that happens with pocket Sports....people just transform.
Anyway.....I'm off topic now! The 2nd quarter started better for me and the Spurs. Straight down the court - open shot for 3pts. Back and forth the play went to end up 26 - 18 with the Heat still in front.
The 3rd quarter had some painful turnovers and steals......the dreaded FOUL rolled its face a few times and more personal fouls were handed out. Trips to the Free Throw line paid off for the Heat and they continued to lead after 3 quarter time 42 - 33
Things continued much the same into the 4th - at times the Spurs showed some brillance but the Heat captilised on some clutch steals and easy lay ups. Final score 66 - 55
We played 10 mins quarters as I was jotting down the action as it happened, but by the 3rd & 4th quarters, the dice rolls were a blur. When two players know the game, dice colours and actions, games are fast & furious...as they are intended to be!
In summary.....I really LOVE Pocket Basketball. We always try to keep our games simple and fun to play and I think we've done a great job on our latest attempt.
Find Pocket Basket ball at www.pocketsports.com.au