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‘NBA Playgrounds’ is a nostalgic blend of ‘NBA Jam’ and ‘NBA Street’

Why it matters to you

The arcade-style 'NBA Playgrounds' will be the first sports game to arrive on Nintendo Switch.

NBA Playgrounds, a spiritual successor to NBA Jam, will launch in May for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

First reported by IGN, NBA Playgrounds looks to be heavily influenced by the iconic arcade basketball classic, all the way down to the disproportionately large head sizes. A short trailer, shown above, was released alongside the announcement.

“Before the arenas, and the crowds, and the shoe contracts. Before the private jets, the Ferraris, the fame. Before anyone knew my name, they knew my game,” the narrator says. Philadelphia ’76ers¬†legend Allen Iverson fakes out George Hill, the current point guard for the Utah Jazz, drives to the hoop, elevates over Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry to an impossibly high altitude reminiscent of NBA Jam, ¬†and throws down a monster jam. There will be over 100 different dunk styles and animations in all.

The inclusion Iverson means that NBA Playgrounds will allow past and present stars to collide in two vs. two showdowns. Along with Iverson, we spotted Shaquille O’Neal, Patrick Ewing, Spudd Webb, James Worthy, and Patrick Ewing. All current NBA teams be playable.

The trailer runs for less than a minute, but from it, we can tell that there’s at least seven different court environments including a beach court, an amusement park, a traditional blacktop court, a court set in Paris, and another in China. The court variety gives it more of an NBA Street vibe, as EA’s now defunct successor to NBA Jam featured courts from around the globe.

NBA Playgrounds was developed by Saber Interactive, and will let you play solo, and against friends in local and online multiplayer. The digital only launch doesn’t have a firm date, but when it arrives it will be $20 on all of its supported platforms.

Corrected on 4-6-2017 by Steven Petite to reflect that George Hill wears a Utah Jazz jersey in the trailer.