In spite of my height, I never much managed to get on with basketball: it turns out that breaking the six-foot barrier isn’t much use if your coordination leaves a lot to be desired. I did always, however, appreciate the display of individual skill that goes along with free-throw or long-distance shooting challenges (obviously not too much, as I’m sure my vocabulary is somewhat inappropriate here) – even if I could not myself replicate those feats of skill. With that in mind, 3 Point Basketball is a game that I find rather charming in its own way.
Key to that charm is the contrivane that the game establishes to justify why grown virtual atheletes would care about a three-point competition: a governing body-sanctioned tournament backed up with a broadcast agency’s involvement, with one of the anchors making judicious use of his eyebrows while talking. There’s also something a little bit cute about a game from 1993 allowing you to select a “nickname” for your player character to be used in the spoken-word elements of the game, the announcers occasionally cheering or berating your performance by this assumed name. Given that commentators in modern football games still choke on names, it’s a nice touch, executed well.
The way the game is played is somehow equally twee in its simplicity: click and hold for one axis is aiming, clicking again following this for the other axis. With that, your avatar shoots and (likely) misses. Even in the face of failure, there is something satisfying about this: both states of failure and success are easily understandable and feel fair. Admittedly, it would be difficult for a game that relies on time passing between events at the core of its single mechanic to feel unfair, but the innateness of a characteristic is no reason to judge that characteristic negatively.
3 Point Basketball is a simple, small game – but that’s no bad thing. It’s a three-point shooting simulator, nothing more and nothing less.
Download link (2,265kB)