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Aqua Hoops: Digital Water-Bubble Basketball

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Finding an iPhone game that I really enjoy is a tough task. I like games that fit some basic criteria: they must be easy to play with intuitive controls (pick up and play), they need some type of scoring system so I can compare scores with friends or set personal records, and each “round” can be no longer than a few minutes. So far, the best games that I have found and that fit my criteria are: PapiJump, Brain Tuner, Dactyl, and the freshly launched Aqua Hoops.

Aqua hoops is an electronic version of one of my favorite childhood toys: the water tank basketball game where you push the buttons to shoot air at the basketballs to make them go into the hoops. Features of the electronic version include:

  • Real underwater feel
  • Tilt sensitive physics
  • Simulated air bubbles
  • 7 tiny little plastic* basketballs
  • 3 plastic hoops (not real plastic)
  • Multiple gameplay modes: Free play, One minute drill, Three minute drill
  • Keeps track of your best score for each mode

I really like Aqua Hoops for several reasons, the main one being that it nails the gameplay. I feel like I am five again, holding the water tank toy and shooting air at the balls to propel them towards the goals. Along with the realism, Aqua Hoops delivers a perfect pick and play aspect: the first time I tried it I knew exactly what to do, without reading instructions or having a friend explain it. My favorite mode is the one minute drill in which you try to score as many points as you can in a one minute time frame. I also love the fact that Aqua Hoops doesn’t hijack your phone’s sound so you can still listen to your iPod while playing (a feature that should be an option in all applications).

As much as a I love the game, I do have one gripe: the high scores aren’t defaulted to zero, but are instead set ridiculously high. I like setting my own high score, and trying to beat it each time. Other than that one complaint, which could easily be fixed with an update, I love Aqua Hoops and I am looking forward to more games from the developer.

Aqua Hoops is available in the App store now for $0.99.

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