There are a lot of basketball arcade games out there and each of them has its strong sides. Still, few are the ones that are just great all-rounders and are more than decent in every aspect. One of the best examples for such a game is the Pop-a-shot dual shot basketball arcade game. It is one of the more versatile models out there and has some class leading features. What are they? Well… you are about to find out!
My Verdict: If you are looking for a sturdy basketball arcade game that is made out of quality materials and will last you quite some time, then the Pop-A-Shot arcade should definitely be on your shortlist. Yes, it costs a little more than its competition but it is also slightly better in almost every aspect. If playing competitively against your friends without having to worry about the game failing you at some point, then this is the right way to go.
If you want to learn more about basketball arcades and all their features, head over to my full Buyer’s Guide on the topic. Now, let’s jump straight into this review.
Overview & Features
One of the first things that will leave an impression in you once you start assembling this model is how sturdy and good the materials feel. Everything here is solid, from the steel tubes to the thick nylon ramp and backboard. This, of course, adds a lot of weight to the price tag but will ultimately be worth it if you are looking for something that will last more than just a few game nights with your friends.
In terms of dimensions this arcade is quite bulky but that makes it even better for adults. It measures 45 inches in width, 88 inches in length, and has three heights depending on your preferences – 82, 88, and 94 inches.
If this is too big for your living room, there is a Single-Shot version which is 30 inches wide and fits almost anywhere. All pop-a-shot models are easily foldable and are fairly easy to set up initially.
Materials and Durability
The main frame here is made out of one and a half inch powder coated steel tubes. That is a standard for this price class but is also something you should look for since steel is one of the best options when it comes to rigidity. It won’t help with the weight of the arcade but it will definitely keep it in its place even if things get rough during your game.
The powder coating eliminates one common issue present on cheaper models – rusting. It also makes the steel far more resistant to chipping and other types of external damage. Peeling is also non-existent thanks to this coating.
The return ramp is made out of nylon like most other models but is thicker than usual which adds to the quality feel of the whole arcade. The hoop nets are also made out of nylon, although I wished they were cloth-made or at least something that will emulate a real “swoosh” sound that a normal basketball hoop would do. Can’t complain about the backboard, though, which is also quite thick and have no wobble to it no matter how hard you hit it with a basketball. I also can’t complain about the metal rings that are super sturdy and are great for assisting your bank shots.
The scoring system isn’t any different than what you see on almost all models nowadays. It features proprietary infrared sensors which have been placed at new locations compared to the old model, potentially for better results. For me personally, those sensors are now as accurate as they can be almost across all models so this particular feature shouldn’t be a huge selling point to you. They are all accurate above 98% but the thing that I’ve noticed is that some sensors work well just with the balls that come with that same arcade, which is a bummer since you sometimes don’t get enough balls and will have to buy extra ones. In those cases, I recommend getting them all from the manufacturer of the arcade.
Speaking of basketballs…
From all the models that I’ve been through, there isn’t a single arcade that comes with balls of such high quality. More importantly, there are little to no basketball arcades out there that come with 7 balls. Most are in the range of 4 to 6 balls and are usually cheap-feeling plastic ones. These balls here are great and are going to spoil you a lot in terms of feel. They also retain air quite well and don’t deflate after just a few days of usage. The only other model I can think of that has that many balls of this good of a quality is the Lifetime 90648. These balls here are 7 inches in diameter which works great with the 12 inch rims. That type of ratio is almost an industry standard at this point as almost everyone else is using these two sizes.
Quality basketballs are actually quite rare and that single feature can often be the difference in feel between a cheap and a premium basketball arcade. The better you become the more you will demand out of your balls and these right here are up there with some of my favorite ones.
Still, even if that happens, this model comes with a hand-pump for the basketballs.
Additional features and accessories
In terms of additional features, the things worth being mentioned are the 16 games you get pre-installed into your arcade. They are basically all the single and multiplayer games most modern basketball arcade games have. These games also come with buzzers and 6 more audio options to enhance your experience. All that is controlled through the control panel which is located at the front on top of the main bar/handle.
On this model there are wheels, which makes moving the arcade quite easy. If you want added stability, though, you can mount it to the wall behind it. The power can come from a power outlet or you can rely on the batteries inside, although they don’t tend to last very long, especially under heavy usage.
Lastly, the LED scoreboard is a cool touch to the whole thing but I’d want a bigger screen from such an expensive arcade, especially since it is quite large and it might be hard seeing the scores in a brightly lit environment.
Design and Practicality
The design here is fairly common to modern basketball arcades but the nylon ramp is slightly more inclined which makes the ball return faster. That is great attention to detail and can add to some record-breaking moments in which speed is crucial. The side nets also stretch quite a lot across both sides of the arcade and don’t allow balls to fly off to any direction. Still, you will occasionally get a ball bounce off the rim and hop over the nets.
Practicality is decent. If you ignore the large size, it folds to quite the compact footprint and does so rather easily. When folded you can still play with the hoops but the return ramp won’t be available.
The price is a major factor to consider here, especially since this is the most expensive model on my list for this year. There certainly are other basketball arcades that are more expensive but this is priced just above most of its closest competitors quality-wise. If you are on a tight budget then this might prove to be far too big of an investment.
If you are looking for something a little bit cheaper but with the same level of quality and sturdiness, I suggest checking out my Lifetime 90648 Indoor Basketball Arcage Game review. Now, let’s go over some of the most important pros and cons of this model…
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Extremely well-built
- Very sturdy
- Two hoops
- Accurate scoring sensors
- Digital displays to keep a track of the score
- 16 individual basketball games
- Has remote control and audio options
- Height is easily adjustable
- Triple digit scoring displays
- Quite expensive compared to other models
- Can be too bulky for some smaller rooms (in these cases the single-shot version would be a better fit)
If you want to learn more about the history of the sport of basketball and more specifically – when was it invented, head over to our article on the topic.
Basketball arcades are often associated with kids playing on them and not being too sturdy. The Pop-a-shot home dual shot basketball arcade game proves all those theories wrong. It is super sturdy and allows for adults to play competitively on it without worrying about breaking or tearing any of the construction materials.
It comes with great quality basketballs and 16 pre-installed games to choose from. All that is padded with sound effects and the realistic feel of the balls and rims. If price isn’t an issue, then you should definitely consider getting this arcade. I gave it a solid score of five out of five stars.