There are few undeniable truths in this world, and one of them is that Shaq isn't in enough video games (or genie movies). Sure, you can point to Shaq Fu, a video game that expertly blended Kung Fu and Shaq, but that was nearly twenty years ago. And yeah, there's his near-yearly appearances in NBA basketball games to consider, but are those really "Shaq video games"? The answer is no, no they are not.
Thankfully, the big guy has seen new video game life on mobile. The awesomely terrible ShaqDown [Free] gave us some laughs at the beginning of the year, and there's still the skydive-to-slam-dunking game Shaq Sky Slam which I pray every morning will hit soon. However, the legions of Shaq video game fans are crying for more, more, more (so far that legion seems to only include myself and Brad Nicholson, but we're getting there).
Enter the fine folks at Product Broadcasting, who are here to answer our cries. And with a name like Product Broadcasting, or "Prodcasting" for short, you know it's going to be good. The game in question is Soda Shaq Basketball [Free], and it basically turns a can of your soon-to-be-favorite beverage of AriZona Creme Soda into an interactive hoops game. Yes, if the lack of Shaq video games wasn't enough, there's an even more severe lack of beverages featuring Shaq's huge mug on the can. Soda Shaq Basketball kills both birds with a single well-placed stone. Kudos to you, Product Broadcasting.
Soda Shaq Basketball is an augmented reality game. It takes the boring Shaq-less real life that we live in now and augments it to feature more Shaq. Just load up the Soda Shaq game on your device, point its camera towards a frosty can of AriZona Creme Soda, and BAM – the giant, majestic head of Shaq appears right on the can accompanied by a tiny basketball hoop. Then simply swipe the onscreen basketball towards the hoop and try to make as many shots as possible. His head will even spout words of encouragement or taunts of failure depending on how you do. Revel in the irony of Shaq making fun of you for not being able to hit short stationary jump shots. The future is now, folks.
But, I hear you saying, "What if I'm not fortunate enough to own a frosty can of delicious and refreshing AriZona Creme Soda?" Product Broadcasting is to the rescue once again, as you can simply print out this PDF of a basketball half-court which will trigger the augmented reality portion of the game. It will not, however, trigger the giant face of Kazaam… er, Shaq to lob disses in your direction, so it's not a completely ideal solution, but it'll do if you're AriZona-less.
All silliness aside… oh who am I kidding, how can a game about lobbing basketballs at a giant 3D Shaq head be anything but silly? Soda Shaq is a decent enough little hoops flicking game, and the augmented reality tech is pretty neat. There seems to be some sort of coin currency system which limits how many games you can play. I didn't play enough to run out of coins or anything, and I doubt you will either, but should such a thing happen apparently you can just scan away at even more cans of AriZona beverages to refill your coffers. It reminds me of my now second favorite advergame, Halo 4: King of the Hill Fuled [sic] by Mountain Dew which had Eli driving all over town scanning Mountain Dew and Doritos to refill his ammo. What a world we live in.
But hey, you can lob basketballs at Shaq's giant head for free, so what are you waiting for? Download Soda Shaq. Do it. And if you throw a can of AriZona in the mix for the full effect, what is that, like a dollar or something? A steal in my book, as you really can't put a price on interactive Shaq-based media. I've got my fingers crossed we'll someday see Barkley Shut Up and Jam! Some Delicious Kellogg's Eggo Waffles Down Your Throat™.
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