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If you don’t want to go outside your house but want to get some exercise done, you have a number of options. Basketball arcade games can be one of them.
That’s why, in this guide, I take a look at some of the best pop-a-shot games that you can get yourself. Continue reading to learn what they are as well as to learn how I chose the products to feature here.
If you are in a hurry, though, you might want to jump straight to the top pick, the official Pop-a-Shot machine.
A staple brand in most home arcade setups, the Pop-A-Shot New Official Home Dual Shot Basketball Arcade Game has a total of 16 different game modes you can play with your family, friends, colleagues, and others.
Its frame is made out of 1-1/2-inch steel tubes (with rust-resistant powder coating finish) to withstand pressure during rough game time.
Along with the 3-digit scoreboard, you can also customize the sounds as you play to turn the game even more exciting. If your ceiling is lower than the average, the whole machine setup can be tweaked to match your room.
Moving it from place to place doesn’t have to be a chore due to the wheels at the bottom. While it mainly runs on an AC adapter for the scoreboard, you can also power it up using 4 AA batteries.
Packaged with the machine come 7 balls, which allow you to play head-to-head with another person on any of the machine’s different modes (standard, overtime, sudden death, intermediate, and free play) or you can relax by yourself using the solo game mode which activates only one basket.
Things I Like About This Product: It has wheels for mobility, has both a battery and an adapter option for powering the scoreboard, and is adjustable depending on your ceiling height. There are also plenty of basketballs to start playing with.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The controller wire might be a hassle to tuck away and keep out of sight – not a problem if you prefer using batteries for the scoreboard.
Bearing a polycarbonate backboard with a steel frame for durability, the Atomic Slam Dunk Basketball Shootout features a better-designed ramp as compared to the choice above so it might appeal to kids.
Its dimensions are 81 x 48 x 81 inches when put together.
Unlike the top pick, this one comes with only 4 miniature basketballs. Nonetheless, it also bears 1-1/2-inch steel tubing to keep it stable. You also get a free air pump should the basketballs need some reinflating.
Since the basketballs are miniature-sized, they can be easy to hold for your little ones. This machine is a good starter arcade game for them to get acquainted with basketball in general.
Things I Like About This Product: The design is kid-friendly, from the size of the balls to the print on the ball ramp.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: It has a fixed height (not a problem if your ceiling height is at least 8 feet) and no wheels so it lacks mobility. There are only 4 basketballs included so you might want to buy some additional ones.
You’ve probably heard of Giantex when it comes to indoor/outdoor recreational setups for kids – the Giantex Foldable Basketball Arcade Game is one of them. Unlike the previous choices, this one has a unique folding mechanism so it might be a decent pick for apartments or small rooms to improve your foot traffic indoors.
As with most basketball arcade games, the hoops are at 12 inches in diameter so even slightly bigger basketballs can fit in. The rubber tips at the bottom also keep it stable during game time.
With an MDF backboard, side nets, and a powder-coated finish iron tube, it can withstand years of use with proper maintenance. It has a total of 4 basketballs to play with and has 8 different game modes to choose from.
Things I Like About This Product: You can fold it down to 50% of its original size so it doesn’t get in the way when you store it anywhere.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The sound may not be as high quality as other basketball arcade games but you can just turn it off. If not careful, the infrared sensors could get tangled in the hoop nets, so keep an eye on them. As it only has 4 basketballs included, you might want to purchase additional ones if your kids tend to argue over ball shortage.
If the University of Georgia is your favorite team, you might like this one with its custom-designed backboard. In fact, there are also a few other designs to pick from, so make sure to check it out.
As with the regular Pop-A-Shot, this one also has wheels at the bottom so you can move it around easily. It is also built from 1-1/2-inch steel tubes that are powder-coated. The frame has adjustable height for different ceilings. Moreover, you can fold the machine to reduce its length to as little as 37 inches to save space when not in use.
It’s also worth noting that you can either power the game using batteries or a regular adapter.
Much like the top pick in this article, this Pop-A-Shot features customizable sounds in which you can also use an audio jack to connect it to external speakers so you can feel the excitement even better while playing.
A notable difference, however, is that you only have 10 different game modes.
Things I Like About This Product: It has wheels for mobility and you can adjust the game’s height to fit the room as well as for storage purposes. The audio jack is a plus point for building up excitement since it lets you connect the machine to external speakers.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The number of game modes falls short compared to the 16 game modes of the original Pop-A-Shot.
If you prefer to play solo, the Pop-A-Shot Home Single Shot might be your cup of tea. You can also fold it when you aren’t using it, an advantage for those who’d like to keep one in their small apartment or unit.
Also bearing 1-1/2-inch steel tubes and an audio jack for external speakers like its bigger brother, this single-hoop setup offers a total of 6 types of games and comes with 4 balls. The number of balls is sufficient since it’s only meant for single play.
With dimensions of 30 x 88 x 82 inches, although the height is fixed, it’s not too high so it should still fit in most rooms with standard ceiling heights.
Things I Like About This Product: This single-player Pop-A-Shot setup is foldable to save space in your room. The ability to connect to external speakers can provide improved game experience even when you’re just playing alone.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The height can’t be adjusted although but then again the 82-inch height can fit most ceiling heights. The ball retrieval area can be a little too deep for some kids.
The Nova Microdermabrasion Foldable Indoor Basketball Arcade Game is an easy install since it has a quick-connect frame design. That can be especially helpful if you’re alone at home setting it up for the kids (or for yourself) on your own.
Equipped with a 3/8-inch thick MDF backboard, the machine has 12-inch basketball hoops that can accommodate most ball sizes.
Compared to the previous picks, this basketball arcade game has a total of 8 game modes that can accommodate up to 4 players at once. In this way, more people can get their turn for different time limits.
You get 4 basketballs in the package, all with a 7-inch diameter. They’re large enough to be fun yet small enough to be held even by kids. An air pump to maintain the basketballs is included as well.
Moving the game around is relatively easy since it is foldable and its width of 43 inches can fit most door sizes.
Things I Like About This Product: The option includes unique games for up to 4 players at once (even though there are only two hoops).
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: There can be slight errors on the scoreboard at times but there’s a reset button to refresh it.
You’ve probably played video games from EA Sports and you’ll likely find the EA Sports Indoor Home Dual Shot 2 Player Arcade Basketball Game a good indoor basketball game with a total of 8 modes to choose from.
Standing with dimensions of 81 x 43 x 80-1/2 inches, the set comes with a total of three basketballs to play with.
Like most of the suggestions here, it also bears a foldable design, realistic sound effects, and a frame built from metal tubing. The LED scoreboard uses batteries. It doesn’t support a regular power adapter like some of the other picks.
Things I Like About This Product: You can fold this basketball arcade game in half to reduce storage space. Although the height is fixed, it can fit under most 8-foot ceilings.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: Buying extra balls can be a necessity if you have older kids or players, since having 3 balls can make the game pace a bit slower.
The Methodology: What I Considered When Picking the Basketball Arcade Games Featured Above
If you are wondering how we chose the picks above – or how you should go about choosing the best basketball arcade game machine for you – go through the criterias below.
When it comes to construction, most basketball arcade games are made using steel tubing. You might also find steel parts that secure each of the hoop so that when your kids’ rough play comes in, there’s little to no risk of accidentally detaching them.
MDF boards are also typically used for the backboard. They can provide a better rebound for the ball making them bounce back easily for quicker play. Nets on the sides are also important to keep the balls contained inside the game setup.
The majority of these arcade games have a 2-player configuration in which both the hoops usually have a 12-inch diameter. However, there are also single-player variants that have a narrower width (also typically with a 12-inch hoop), making them easy to fit into small spaces, especially if you just want to practice the game by yourself.
Number of Balls
The number of balls usually ranges from 3 to 7 in a single basketball arcade game. The Pop-A-Shot New Official Home Dual Shot Basketball Arcade Game has 7 basketballs in total so you can enjoy the game at a faster pace without having to wait for the balls to roll over.
Along with the factory default balls, which usually measure 7 inches in diameter, you may also want to buy additional balls in the future should the basketballs get severely damaged or if you need more basketballs for each player to avoid sibling fights.
What makes the basketball arcade game a notch above your average hoop and ball setup is that it has a scoring system and a timer, which makes it more exciting and challenging whether for solo or competitive play.
Usually, the number of game modes ranges between 8 and 16.
The following factors can play a role in creating the different game modes. By mixing them in different ways, you can have nearly endless ways of having fun and relieving stress with the basketball arcade game.
Time Constraint: Game modes can restrict the amount of time to as short as 15 seconds or as long as 3 minutes.
Number of Players: While there are usually 2 hoops in most basketball arcade games, there are game modes that allow you to either play solo or against a friend, colleague, or family member. There are even game modes that allow 4 players at once.
Points per Shot: Common shots count 2 points as with regular basketball rules. However, some game modes could change the number of points depending on the score you’ve made and other factors.
Bonuses: There could also be games that offer bonuses depending on your score and the amount of time left.
Ease of Ball Return
The ball must return quickly in a basketball arcade game because it can seriously eat up time when trying to score a lot within a limited time. Unlike the heavy-duty versions that you see in commercial arcades, however, common home setups use durable nylon material that allows the ball to easily slide down.
The nylon material also allows the arcade game to be folded in half, which adds to its portability (see below section). This kind of material also makes the whole game setup easier to assemble due to reduced weight.
Setup and Takedown
Putting together a basketball arcade game with poor instructions can be a hassle.
As mentioned above, many of the arcade games included in this list use a nylon ramp for the balls to return from the hoops after shooting. This allows you to fold the game, which reduces both setup and takedown time.
If you have a basketball arcade game that has wheels at the bottom, such as the Pop-A-Shot Home Dual Shot Basketball Arcade Game, that could also help with storing it easily when not in use.
Most models are equipped with LED-lit scoreboards.
Aside from being easy to read, having a plug-in or AC power option for the scoreboard is a plus for those who want unlimited scoring without having to worry about the batteries.
Since these basketball arcade games are coupled with technology, it comes as no surprise that they also have cool sound effects. For instance, aside from making sounds per basket, there could also be crowd cheers if you perform well – adding realism and serving as a little confidence boost.
Of course, not everyone enjoys loud arcade sounds, and that’s why having adjustable volumes can be crucial if there are concerns of annoyed neighbors or sleeping babies. Pop-A-Shot games can also be tweaked for their sound options (e.g. no sound, rock music, hip-hop, electronic, or sound effects only).
Let’s say that you want to have your game at home but your ceiling height isn’t very ideal for that. That’s when the adjustability comes into play – Pop-A-Shot arcade games usually have an adjustable height that fits different room ceilings.
Being portable allows you to easily transfer the game setup from one room to another with minimal effort.
Machines with wheels at the bottom feet allow you to do that easily. The ability to be folded in half also helps with portability. The EA Sports Dual Shot Arcade Basketball Game and the Giantex Foldable Basketball Arcade Game excel in that area.
Just like in commercial arcades, home basketball arcade games also have buttons you can push to navigate through the game modes.
However, they should be easy to work with and must come with an instruction manual for first-time users, since they mainly use number codes for each game mode.
Keeping a basketball arcade game physically stable is crucial since it is a fast-paced game.
Fortunately, most of these game setups have either rubber stoppers at the bottom or lockable caster wheels to keep them steady. Also, since they are mainly made of steel tubing, they have just the right amount of weight for overall stability.
Since the basketball arcade game comes with free balls, the manufacturer is also likely to include air pumps to inflate them. However, some game setups don’t come with them so in that case you’ll have to get an external air pump somewhere to get started.
As a whole, you might enjoy the Pop-A-Shot New Official Home Dual Shot Basketball Arcade Game if you like to have different game modes and play with many family members and friends at home.
The number of free basketballs included and the option to plug the scoreboard into an outlet (instead of batteries) make it worthy of being the top pick.
Other great multiplayer picks would be the Nova Microdermabrasion Foldable Indoor Basketball Arcade Game with its 4-player modes. Or, you could also show your support for your team through the Pop-A-Shot – Home Dual Shot – University of Georgia. If you have kids at home, the Atomic Slam Dunk Basketball Shootout can be an option since it has child-friendly basketball sizes and an attractive design.
Some homes have limited spaces – the EA Sports Indoor Home Dual Shot 2 Player Arcade Basketball Game and the Giantex Foldable Basketball Arcade Game are easy to fold in half so you can get them out of sight when you aren’t using them.
For a “me time” approach, however, the Pop-A-Shot Home Single Shot could just be the missing piece in your apartment.
Whichever mode you go with, there’s no doubt a basketball arcade game is one of the most fun additions to a game room.