nba-jam-coverI’ve been looking for a fun (and easy) sports video game to play with my kids and I’ve FINALLY found it, NBA Jam: On Fire Edition.

I played the heck out of NBA Jam in the mid-1990’s on my Sega Genesis. I still get nostalgic when I hear “Boomshakalaka!” or “He’s heating up. He’s on fire!”

I completely forgot about the game until my 9-year-old son, Ethan, downloaded it on his iPod recently. Fortunately for me, any apps he downloads are automatically downloaded onto my iPhone. I now play it all the time.

This past Saturday, I had a thought. Why not check the Xbox Live Arcade and see if the game was available for download? It was and it only cost $15 so I downloaded it. Since then, we’ve played well over a dozen games and have a lot of fun in the process.

Here’s what I like about the game:

  • Each team only has two players and you can control whichever player you want. You can pick what two players you want from each team.
  • There aren’t many rules (other than goal tending and a 24-second shot clock). You can foul all you want and don’t have to worry about running out of bounds.
  • The dunks are AWESOME. The players jump way higher than the rim and can take the ball between their legs or behind their back. The alley-oops are ridiculous.
  • There is no blood, bad language or violence (other than occasionally pushing an opposing player to the ground).
  • Once a player makes three shots in a row, he’s on fire and can hit just about anything.
  • It’s cheap. You can rarely find a game for less than $20.

We’ve only played the “Jam Now” mode where you can play against friends or against the computer. In all honesty, that’s all we need. There are other game modes where you can challenge all 30 NBA teams and you can also challenge your friends on Xbox Live. Maybe I’ll check them out when Ethan is in bed.

In all honesty, there isn’t much about the game that I don’t like. Even though it’s a few years old, I would highly recommend NBA Jam: On Fire Edition to any dad looking for a fun (and cheap) game to play with the kids.

Now when my son asks me to play Xbox, I can respond with “Boomshakalaka!”

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