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NBA Rush (iOS) Review

/ Feb 7th, 2014 No Comments

NBA Rush iOS review

If aliens came down to Earth, stole talent from some of the best NBA players and challenged Looney Tunes characters to a basketball game…well, that would be the plot of the 1996 movie Space Jam. Combine that with an endless runner for iOS and it makes NBA Rush.

The game from Renren, a company once set on becoming the Facebook of China, is the latest popular iOS title to use the endless runner gameplay style made famous by Temple Run and Subway Surfers. Its unique spin is the official NBA license, meaning characters are real NBA players. Beyond that though, NBA Rush offers little innovation to a packed genre.

NBA Saves the World

NBA Rush centers around an alien invasion. Obviously, the people of Earth would immediately turn to the stars of the NBA if aliens attacked the planet – mostly because of their ability to jump.

NBA Rush review

NBA Rush review

With the world in chaos, it is up to NBA players to dribble, jump and dunk their way through alien-infested cities in order to save the earth. Of course, players will have to dodge additional targets, including crashed UFOs and vehicles fleeing the city.

Alien Dunk Contest

NBA Rush is not a typical endless runner. In some ways, it is a dunk contest with aliens. Players have to swipe, flick and tap their way through a generic city, destroying aliens, collecting coins and finding diamonds along the way.

Coins can be used to purchase upgrades while diamonds can be used as continues upon death or to buy new players. The significance of coins and diamonds to NBA players is unknown but then again, those players are saving the world from aliens. Still, it would be nice to see some more creativity.

Hopping or dunking on aliens will fill up a meter, which will trigger players to sub out for another NBA star and add a score multiplier. While dribbling through the city, players also must avoid traps set by aliens, road blocks and oncoming vehicles.

Instead of a few generic characters, players can choose to play as actual NBA stars. Every NBA team is represented in the game and each team has three players to choose from.

Diamonds are Forever

Diamonds are spread throughout the city but they are few and far between. The NBA prides itself on its stars but superstars like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Durant are priced so high they are nearly impossible to obtain without forking over some real-world currency.

NBA stars save the world, one dunk at a time

NBA stars save the world, one dunk at a time

NBA Rush is free to play but acquiring big name stars will require either a large time commitment or paying steep prices. In-app purchases involving diamonds start at $4.99 but NBA Rush offers purchases of up to $99.99 for a Champion Coin Pack. While it is not necessary to pay large sums, the game highly encourages players to spend money.

Animation Invasion

The highlight of NBA Rush is the animations. Players move through the bright, cartoony environment without picking up their dribble – performing crossovers with every lane change and keeping the dribble alive when sliding under barriers. Dunks are equally impressive, with a variety of tomahawks, reverse jams and windmills to perform on aliens. A comic book-style introduction is also a nice touch, albeit irrelevant to the game.

Closing Comments

NBA Rush is a quick time-waster perfect for mobile devices. It lacks depth but its wackiness makes it worth using a few spare minutes on. If nothing else, NBA Rush serves as another example of how basketball and aliens make a winning team.


Ryan Bloom

Ryan Bloom

Chief Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Ryan Bloom is a writer and avid gamer from Orange County. He received a B.A. in Communications with a minor in American Studies from California State University, Fullerton in 2010. Follow him on Twitter @BloomsTweets.
Ryan Bloom

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Gaming Illustrated RATING



Graphics are cartoony and fun while animations are the brightest point of NBA Rush. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell players apart from one another.


The game is a good time-waster but not much beyond that. Players will keep playing to unlock superstars like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James but once that is accomplished, there is little reason to continue. NBA Rush also encourages making expensive in-app purchases.


There is not much plot development but the game centers around an alien invasion of Earth. Why NBA players are called upon to protect the planet is unknown but it is fun concept that follows in the footsteps of Space Jam.


Controls are easy to learn, especially if you've already played an endless runner. However, subbing out for another character off the bench can be difficult in the middle of a long run.

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