One of the more rewarding things that 2K has managed to do with its sports game franchises over the last few years is to turn them into card games for mobile. While the gameplay for these titles has always been about as basic as it gets, they do have their charms on the presentation and team-building sides, and the company has continued to add to them each year. My NBA 2K18 continues in this tradition, combining what’s worked so far with just a few new twists worth noting.
My NBA 2K18 has a leg up on its WWE and NHL counterparts simply because it also serves as the companion app to the console version of NBA 2K18, which is in this humble writer’s opinion the best sports game of any kind on the market. That alone makes it worth downloading for many PS4 and Xbox One gamers as you can use it to earn currency every day for use in the console title.
Still, we’re here to talk about the card game within the game, which is technically called MyTeam Mobile. You’ll either be thrilled or dismayed to learn that it hasn’t changed much from last year, as you “draft” cards of real NBA players of different rarity levels, then use them in simple games that compare stats on those cards to determine who wins. Rewards are given out at the end of every game, allowing you to find new and hopefully better players and improve the ones you already have.
New for 2018 is a Playoffs mode which takes the place of the overly long Season mode as a management challenge. With a full team of 15 players and three support cards, your job is to manage energy levels between games, playing Quick Game matches to supply the extra Energy your team needs. That synergy has always been appreciated, as is the way you can play as many Quick Games as you want with no constraints. Not many mobile sports games can say that.
The Head 2 Head mode is like a more challenging Quick Game mode with a limited number of games you can play that recharge over time. It has its own rewards wrinkle in the form of prize wheel you can spin when found on the draft board, but otherwise is pretty close to the same experience.
Once the NBA season starts in real life, there’s every reason to think that Cat Daddy Games and 2K will add more content, as they’ve always been good about doing so in the past. There’s definitely room for … something else among the game modes as there’s a space that simply says “Coming Soon,” and new and updated cards are guaranteed to be added to the mix as well. For now, though, it’s a little bare bones, lacking even the ability to join forces with other players and work toward common goals like you could in 2017.
That’s all kind of a long-winded way of saying that My NBA 2K18 is essential for serious NBA 2K18 players and something close if you enjoyed previous versions, but could be hit or miss for other basketball and sports gaming fans. If you’re looking for something light and well-made to play whenever you have time, you could do worse than this, but if you’ve tried it in the past and found it didn’t do much for you, there’s not much new so far to make you feel differently.