NBA Ball Stars review: A new take from Netmarble on the NBA

Play with your Favorite NBA Stars

NBA Ball Stars was one of the five new games Netmarble had planned to launch this year and it’s here now. With actual players from the NBA like Steph Curry, James Harden, and others. This sports game is a fun little thing for NBA fans who also like gem-bursting games and team management. Here in this article, we will review NBA Ball Stars and share our first impressions of the game.

NBA game mixed with the gem-bursting puzzle gameplay

Starting off with the NBA Ball Stars review, you need to play with your team and manage them as well. In the starting, you get the option to choose your favorite official NBA team. Once that’s done, you move on to recruiting players and then, you get to go out into the court. Once you get a hold of the gameplay mechanics, the game is pretty easy. It’s a gem bursting puzzle similar to Candy Crush where you have to click on the horizontally and vertically aligned gems. Each of them allows your player to get a higher attack or defense percentage. Like any other game, you start out small and then you can train and upgrade your players and also get new ones.

NBA Ball Stars review

Obviously, along with skill, your success also depends on luck since the gems are dropped in at random. The gameplay during matches is fast-paced and engaging while strategy is key to upgrading your team. You can also change how many points a player scores, their formation, skills, and the order they play in but you do need to get to certain levels in order to do that.

Decent graphics but beware of the paywall

The graphics are decent and the players are pretty easy to identify while the audio and in-game music is on point and sets the vibe for the game. There’s not much to the controls. You just tap on the gems and that’s pretty much all there is.

NBA Ball Stars review

Now the UI takes some getting used to but it’s a bit frustrating at the start when it forces us to do as it says and we couldn’t even adjust the volume settings! The game doesn’t have ads but it does have plenty of In-App Purchases. You can purchase in-game currency and players with real money.

Final Verdict

Now there’s a niche for gem-bursting puzzle games (like any other genre) but they’re obviously not meant for everyone. However, NBA Ball Stars manages to make gameplay exciting and fast-paced. Going out and bursting gems isn’t all that there is to the game. Strategy is important but then at some point, you hit a wall.

Once you get in far enough, you reach a paywall and the game becomes unfairly hard despite starting out pretty easy and making you feel like you get the hang of it. It’s basically the game trying to get you to spend money on In-App Purchases. This isn’t all that good and players definitely aren’t a fan of it. Aside from that, everything else seems to work fine and you can get some enjoyment out of playing it.

What are your opinions on the NBA Ball Stars game and your review of it? Do let us know in the comments!

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NBA Ball Stars Review
  • 8/10
    Gameplay Mechanics - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Graphics and Music - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Controls and UI - 8/10
  • 6/10
    Free to play elements - 6/10


NBA Ball Stars manages to make gameplay exciting and fast-paced. With the game being free-to-play, it’s a no-brainer if you like both the NBA and typical Candy Crush-themed games.

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Madhavan Kannan

When not playing video games, I write about them. Aside from video games, I like listening to podcasts, watching random stuff on YouTube or surfing the internet. I’m also a fan of everything zombie-related.
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