Niantic has carved out a niche for itself by creating video games that reward players for exploring the real world. They did it successfully with “Pokemon Go” and had mixed success with other projects beyond that.

His next foray into creating a location-based augmented reality game is “NBA All-World.”

“Sports are a huge part of people’s lives and pop culture,” John Hanke, Founder and CEO of Niantic, said in a press release. “Our version of an NBA basketball game starts with exciting one-on-one gameplay and expands from there to include core elements of basketball culture, including music, fashion, sneakers and more, all of which are embedded in real-world locations.”

The best way to describe it is that it looks like it merges some of the “Pokemon Go” elements and adds up to a sports title. Just like in its flagship game, players will explore their neighborhoods, and visiting real-life allowances will earn them resources such as energy drinks or gear that will aid NBA players they recruit.

Interestingly enough, NBA players are almost like Pokemon. This is not a joke. Professional athletes appear all over the world, and by defeating them in a competition, they have the opportunity to earn experience points, credibility and other resources. They can also recruit them, so they can be used in other competitions.

Players have 15 open spots for a team, and so far there are 75 players up for grabs, including Zion Williamson, LeBron James and Stephen Curry. Each athlete has their own stats and all of them can be improved if the player uses them in different events.

NBA World Map
“NBA All-World” is played outdoors and this is where players have the opportunity to meet and recruit different NBA players to their team. (Niantic)

As for drills and other contests, they rely on a shot counter in which players must time their press. On offense, they can also dribble left, right, or juke their opponent to get to the basket. On the defensive side, players can steal or block, and if they can time it right, they can get a save.

It’s simple and aimed at casual audiences for quick pick-up-and-play opportunities. If players fancy the competition, they can enter arena tournaments where teams of players face off against rival rookies in head-to-head competitions. To enter, it costs credibility and this is recovered by exploring the game world.

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