Hardwood Rivals is a Mobile Experience Worth a Try

Mobile gaming is quickly becoming a platform where you can engage in quality experiences on the go. Because a lot of us are always out and about using our phones, playing a game here and there to pass time has become a thing to do.

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One such game to help do exactly that is Hardwood Rivals. Available on both iOS and Android, this basketball trick shot is free to download but does have in-app purchases.


Hardwood Rivals offer several features that make the game engaging for players:

-Fully customizable player/avatar
-The ability to earn XP in multiple game modes and unlock player items and accessories
-Same device, head-to-head multiplayer
-Leaderboards and achievements
-Take and share replays of your highest scores
-Two different shooting methods, “free aim” and “timing”


One quick thing I felt necessary to touch on individually is the shooting mechanics of the game. Players, dependent on game mode, can use either the “free aim” or “timing” shooting method.

“Free aim” allows the player to control a line on the screen and direct the trajectory and power of their shot in this way. This shooting mechanic is simpler, but if you don’t take your time, shots can be quite wild.

“Timing” allows the player to shoot by filling up a meter and ensuring that the arrow attached to the meter is aimed with correct trajectory based on the distance the player is from the basket. While the meter can be a little deceptive with the power, this shooting method is a little more accurate.

Game Modes

Hardwood Rivals offers up several single-player game modes as well as a couple multiplayer modes:

Streak – Hit as many shots as you can in 25 seconds. Once you miss, that’s it. This game mode uses the “free aim” shooting method.

Timed – You’ve got 60 seconds to get as many baskets as possible. This mode uses the “timing” shooting method.

Trickshot – In this game mode, you use the “free aim” shooting method. You get to take one shot and try to hit the craziest shot possible.

Practice – Practice mode lets you master the game mechanics before you actually get into the game and play. Take shots using both previously mentioned methods.

The two multiplayer modes available are Knockout and Horse. Both can be played against either the CPU or on the same device locally for some head-to-head action. Knockout pits player versus player in either a 30 or 60 second shootout battle. This game mode uses the “timing” shooting method. Horse plays the classic game that most people that played basketball growing up came to know; the first player has a free shot and if made the second player has to shoot and make the shot in the exact same way. If the second player misses, he or she gets a letter until HORSE is spelled out. This mode uses the “free aim” shooting method.

Final Thoughts

Hardwood Rivals plays a good game of basketball. The customization gives players options to feel more involved in the game, and the XP system gives more reason to continue playing to unlock items for your player. Both shooting methods can be a little complex to master, but it is completely satisfying when you can get either one down and start to swish in shots. A little tweaking of the CPU difficulty in the multiplayer modes would make the game a lot less frustrating. All in all, Hardwood Rivals is a well made app that is a great go to.

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Joel Smith
A father, dedicated sports fan and gamer. FIFA, Madden, NHL, NBA 2K are what I play majority of the time. Manchester United runs in my blood. Chicago Bulls and Denver Broncos drape the walls of my man cave. Play hard, or don't play at all.