Gridiron Thunder gained notoriety for its Kickstarter-related issues and post-release infamy for being a shockingly low-quality game, so it’s a bit of a surprise that the devs would return with a stealth release in Fullcourt Thunder. GT was the dollar store version of a B-level knockoff of the PS1 version of NFL Blitz, with worse visuals, controls, and gameplay. Now, a few years after NBA Jam was revived to great acclaim, we get this…why? The major label versions of these games are available and do a far better job of providing arcade-level thrills than these knock-offs. It would be one thing if it was like McDonald’s versus Five Guys, where you’ve got the tippy-top company in sales and a massive drop in quality relative to that to where you can go “okay, there might be a lesser-known product in that field, but it’s far better than the major one”.
Here, the arcade-style sports game is already established as being really well-done with the major names, so the key would be to do something new that isn’t being done there. That isn’t the case with these things, and in every instance, the graphics alone make it unappealing to even check out. At least they had the decency to only charge $5 for this instead of $10 like Gridiron Thunder. Instead of spending that $5 here, spending it on one of the two bundles that were made available over the past day – you’ll have more fun staring at them in your Steam library than you’ll derive from playing this game.
Everything about the experience lacks a soul. The character models look horribly-generic just during the selection screen, and they don’t look any better on the court. There, you see a mere four characters (I’m sure it’s done to replicate the NBA Jam games, it can’t possibly be due to a lack of skill) moving around. We’ll use the term movement liberally here since it’s really just robotic action that is about as full of life as Robocop slowly sauntering down a street. To call the actions being done here animated is almost an insult to the craft, although hopefully it does at least allow people to list something on their resume and move onto bigger and better things.
The gameplay is lifeless as you just get the ball, pass it, the AI does nothing, and you shoot back and forth. It’s a bit like that Simpsons episode where they get uniforms and play tag. “You are it. Now you are it. Now you are the one who is it…”, only that had funny delivery. This is just a low-grade game that will hopefully be buried deep beneath the Earth alongside a ton of ET carts. Actually, that’s insulting to ET – that game wasn’t exactly good, but it was different and you could tell some effort was put into it. This has no soul, no heart, and is a paint-by-numbers impersonation of what a basketball game would be. This is by far the worst arcade-style basketball game created. Even Double Dribble, with the NES’s hardware limitations, was able to provide something that was both fun and innovative. This does nothing new and even less well.