Slam Dunk Super Pro Basketball

Slam Dunk Super Pro BasketballThe Game: One or two players can set a budget and begin recruiting a top-notch basketball team (or, alternately, recruiting from who’s left after someone else has recruited a top-notch basketball team), and then it’s time to hit the court. See the videoEach player controls a team of three with offensive and defensive moves; the player can control any member of his team. (INTV Corp., 1987)

Memories: Several of the “Super Pro” sports games released by INTV Corp. – the entity that took on the task of continuing software support for the Intellivision long after Mattel Electronics had given up on the system in the face of the then-looming video game industry crash – began life as re-coded single-player versions of existing Intellivision sports titles. Slam Dunk is an example of a game that diverged completely from the code of its two-player-only predecessor (NBA Basketball).

Slam Dunk Super Pro BasketballThe budgeting/recruiting phase of the game is a sign that the INTV Corp. programmers were trying to keep up with the stat-keeping trend in sports games in the late 1980s. The Madden series had debuted, along with other player-stats-heavy titles like Earl Weaver Baseball. Though these “players” and their statistics don’t affect the game in a huge way – arguably, they affect it even less than, say, the personnel management element of older games like Project Space Station – INTV was clearly trying to keep pace with what was “in” in console sports titles.

But that doesn’t mean that Slam Dunk fouls out. It’s actually a very good video basketball game, with passing, offense, defense and, quite frankly, more nuances of the game than anything that had come before it. The Intellivision controller is both a Slam Dunk Super Pro Basketballplus and a minus here: its multi-directional disc control is ideal for aiming a well-timed pass; it’s just a shame that the controller is so uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time. It’s very smooth, however, and it successfully pays off the control-any-player-at-any-time selling point of the game.

If there’s one gripe, it comes back to the budget-keeping element of the game; it’s something that pops up repeatedly, like 3 quartersMicrosurgeon‘s patient status screen. Unlike Microsurgeon‘s patient status screen, however, it’s not an essential element of the game: sometimes, I just want to sit and play basketball.

About Earl Green

I'm the webmaster and creator of and its video game museum "sub-site", Phosphor Dot Fossils.
Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed

  • IP Disclaimer

    All game names, terminology, logos, screen shots, box art, and all related characters and placenames are the property of the games' respective intellectual property holders. The articles herein are not intended to infringe upon their copyright in any way. The author(s) make no attempt - in using the names described herein - to supercede the copyrights of the copyright holders, nor are these articles officially sanctioned, licensed, or endorsed by the games' creators or publishers.