EA Sports have recently branched out to making physical games to further promote their digital division. This is because there are tons of kids that will love having a cool EA product in their room that they can compete on. The EA Sports 8-in-1 Indoor Basketball Arcade Game is exactly that and in this review I will show you which it is a great bang for the buck, go through some of its main features, and show you where it can potentially disappoint you.
My Verdict: If your kids are big fans of any of the EA sports games, then getting this basketball arcade will have a pretty cheerful response to it. Moreover, it is one of the cheapest I’ve reviewed and also comes with a surprising amount of good features. Money aside, the EA Sports basketball game is selling so well because it has everything that your kids will need at a fraction of the cost of other similar models. The few downsides are the fact it takes a while to assemble it and that it doesn’t feel as sturdy as some of the more expensive models out there. Still, if you are on a tight budget but want your kids to have something cool for their room, this should be on your shortlist.
Before you continue with this review, make sure you check out my detailed Buyer’s Guide on some of the best basketball arcade games on today’s market where I’ve covered the topic in great detail and have listed some of my favorite models for this year. Now, let’s jump straight into it!
Overview & Features
Despite its name “Electronic Arts” have really nailed it when it comes to their merchandise. It is obvious that they’ve used third-party contractors but my initial impressions by this (and a few other) of their products is that quality isn’t severely compromised to bring the price that low. Sure, it doesn’t feel as solid as some premium models but for its price tag it sure does bring some performance to the table. The first thing I want to talk about is dimensions…
To my surprise, this arcade has the footprint of all of its competitors out on the market, and even has a few extra inches in its width to help make it a good model for competitive games.
It measures 81 inches in length, 43 inches in width, and is 80.5 inches tall. The height isn’t adjustable which isn’t great but is also something that I expected given the close-to-100$ price tag.
The whole arcade is also foldable and has 31 inches of depth when fully folded to the wall which makes it fairly practical and compact. Typically, if you’d want to put such a big game in your kid’s room, you’d look for something that folds down to 25 or fewer inches. The ESPN EZ Fold basketball arcade is a good example of such a compact design.
Materials and Durability
The materials here truly surprised me since I expected some lower-tier metal tubing but instead I got powder-coated solid metal tubes which are quite durable and are also chip, peel, and scratch resistant. That adds to that child-proof theme of the whole game, especially since the nylon return ramp is double-layered and the nylon guarding nets are surprisingly durable as well.
The backboard is made out of MDF and it houses the electronic scoreboard and the two rims. The rims are 12 inches each and are made out of steel which gives them a nice feeling and rigidity. The scoring sensors are right underneath them and can sometimes get clipped by the incoming basketball but are durable enough to handle some pressure. What might be annoying, though, is that the nylon nets can sometimes get caught in the sensors and you will have to go around and drop them down again, otherwise the ball won’t go through.
The LED electronic scoring system is accurate in its point-counting but isn’t very reliable purely from a tech standpoint. The majority of the complains that I got about this arcade are from customers that had the game for a few months and its scoreboard stopped working. It is battery-powered so sometimes it was solely a battery issue but in most cases it just broke and stopped working altogether. Now, that won’t stop your kids from playing against each other for hours at a time but it takes one of the main features of this game away.
The electronic scoreboard houses the Home and Away scores and the game clock above them. The scores are unfortunately listed in a double-digit format and are only good for a maximum of 99 points. In other words, if you are getting this game to set some type of time record then look elsewhere because this arcade will reset at 100 points.
Other than that, this EA Sports basketball game has stadium sound effects that you can turn up or down through the control panel located at the front handle. You can also turn the sound effects completely off or use external speakers or headphones for them.
The basketballs here were one of my major disappointments with this game. Not only there are only 3 of them but they aren’t of any particular quality to begin with. They have a really cheap feeling to them and deflate rather fast. So much so, that if your kids are playing on a daily basis you will have to pump them up every single day.
Luckily, you get a hand pump with a needle in the package. Issues aside, the basketballs themselves are 7 inches and are a good fit for the 12 inch rims.
Still, if you have more than one kid or want to play simultaneously on this arcade, I’d suggest getting another 3-pack of basketballs or a full set of 6 to 8 of them.
Setting it up
Throughout the years I’ve found that the cheaper the basketball product is, the longer the setup process will be. That rule stands correct with this arcade game. It takes roughly 3 hours for a single person to set it up properly which is a significant amount of time compared to other games that can be assembled in under an hour.
Additional features and accessories
There aren’t many additional features here. In fact, the only thing that I found worth mentioning are the 8 pre-installed basketball games that you get, among which the games of Beat the time clock, Horse, and other traditional ones. The games can be controlled through the control panel upfront where you also have buttons to pause each game or fast forward to the next one.
Design and Practicality
The design and aesthetics of this game is truly its core selling point, especially if you show a picture of it to your kids – they will most likely go crazy about it. It is quite bright and has a very “EA” feel to it which will appeal to the younger generation of kids that love playing video games.
In terms of practicality, it falls behind its competition since it doesn’t manage to cover its bulkiness well even when you fold it up. It does compensate a bit for that by being one of the lightest basketball arcades out there so it is fairly easy to move around weighing around 30 pounds.
The price is yet another huge selling point here, as you can get this arcade for close to a hundred bucks and that is a great price in my opinion. If it was slightly more, I’d opt for other models that are better put together and don’t have issues with their scoreboards. By being that cheap it feels well-balanced and is a great choice for people on a budget.
On the other hand, if you want to go all-in on an expensive basketball arcade that has all the bells and whistles and will last you for quite some time, then I suggest checking out my Pop-a-shot home dual shot basketball arcade game review. It is truly one of the most well-built models you can get and it is more than capable of entertaining you, your kids, and your friends. All that comes at a price, though, and the whole game costs more than twice what this EA basketball arcade does. Will it be worth the extra investment? In my opinion, it just might be. Now, let’s go through the pros and cons of this model…
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Very cheap
- Great looking design
- Durable metal frame and return ramp
- Steel rims
- Accurate scoring system
- Remote control panel
- 8 pre-installed games
- Only comes with 3 basketballs
- The digital scoreboard isn’t very durable
- Quite bulky even after folding it
- The assembly process is quite complex and long especially if you are dealing with it alone
Nothing feels better than wowing your guests with some basketball trivia while you are battling it out on the arcade. This is why I compiled a list of some of the major events in basketball history that shaped the sport as what it is today.
In conclusion, I can say that the EA Sports 8-in-1 Indoor Basketball Arcade Game really impressed me with its full spectrum of features and low price. It really is one of the best budget options out there and it can easily rival some more expensive models, at least looks-wise. The materials are almost on par with the more premium competition but there are a few major downsides that can push some people away from it. One of those is the fact that it only comes with three (not-so-good) basketballs and that it is quite the pain to assemble, especially if you are on your own. Overall, I gave it a score of four and a half out of five stars.