Available today in Apple's App store is NBA Jam ($4.99). The iPhone and iPod Touch version of Jam is perfectly awesome, and still one of our favorite time-killers around the old SI Kids salt mines. But the iPad version is--brace yourself--even better. Here's why:
1. It looks awesome on the iPad's big screen. It's bright, it's colorful, it's fast. In fact, the game's graphics are some of the best that the Sports Gamer has ever seen on the machine. No joke--this is some serious eye candy.
2. Because the screen is bigger, it's easier to use the game's touchscreen controls. The directional stick, which by the worked worked just fine on the iPhone version, feels a slightly more responsive in this version.
3. Player rosters have been updated. Which means in this version, 'Melo has migrated from the Nuggets to the Knicks. Not even the console versions of Jam got this cool roster update.
4. Want to play against your frenemies? Multiplayer is here. Unfortunately, you can't play over the 'Net (not yet anyway; hopefully EA is working on this). But you can play against a fellow iPad-owning buddy via Bluetooth or a Wifi connection. And if you've got a friend who has the iPhone version? iPhone owners can play against iPad owners. How cool is that?
5. Finally, while most console game still retail for about $60, this incredibly robust version of NBA Jam is available for less than the cost of a ballpark soda.
In the words of Abraham Lincoln: "If ye own an iPad, ye must own this game."
The Sports Gamer's real name is Scott Jones. He played football for 12 years before hanging up his cleats and jumping into video game writing. In his time covering the gaming world, Scott has interviewed star athletes such as Venus Williams, Tony Hawk and David Wright.