An NBA-branded augmented-reality game released today for Android and iOS devices, promises to make you the King of the Court at any number of real-world basketball locations around you. So far I'm the King of a neighboring cul-de sac and a Wendy's parking lot.
King of the Court, by Ogmento, is free to play (but, of course pay-to-upgrade). Basically, you download it, allow it to use your geographic location, and then in a camera-view mode you can scan for basketball courts near you. Find one, and you begin a minigame where you time your jumpshot to a circular meter. Time your release in the green zone and you sink a shot. Rack up the highest score, and you're the "king" of this location, somewhat akin to being "mayor" of your local IHOP via Foursquare.
Grabbing the app and playing it from my office, I found two basketball goals near me. The app's promotional page promises that "real world locations become the battleground for basketball court supremacy (location based)." I quickly tallied the high score on both in range, then set off to find out where I was now king. I had dreams of being Springfield, Ore's GOAT of Kelly Butte.
My hunt took me through a very nice residential area where, if there was a basketball goal, it had been wheeled from the street into the backyard, out of view. Undaunted, I drove another 5 minutes to Eugene to see if Matthew Knight Arena, the brand-new home of the University of Oregon's men's and women's hoops teams, registered in the game.
Nope. Playing from the parking lot of a Wendy's across 13th Ave., the nearest location was 266 University Street, which I think is a park, and some two miles from the arena. Still, if anyone with this app is playing near the Matt, I am now the top scorer, so suck it.
King of the Court is a free download that, naturally, pushes freemium upgrades to rack up better scores, such as a faster rebound rate ($1.99) to help you maximize your shots in the time alotted. It's a novel augmented reality concept, but apparently not one entirely grounded in reality.