Super Basketball is a surprisingly fun arcade game that was sold by Konami back in 1984. This game appears to have only been available as a conversion kit.

The Game

What is fun about this game is that it strips out the most frustrating part of basketball, which is defense. In Super Basketball you simply always have the ball. The game begins with about a minute left on the clock, with your team trailing badly. Then you must proceed to make up that gap in order to advance to the next level.

The game has a vertical monitor, and the graphics are colorful, but not particularly great. The game consists of you going up against a series of more and more powerful teams. You begin by playing a Junior High School team and progress through the ranking to play against teams from other countries.

Hardware Information

As far as I can tell this title was only available as a conversion kit. It seems that there were several different marquees and control panel overlays available. All of the ones I have seen used an "American" red, white, and blue graphics scheme, but some of them labeled the game simply as "Basketball".

The control panel consists of a single 8-Way joystick and three buttons, dribble, pass, and shoot. The action is displayed on a standard vertical arcade monitor.

The game runs on a single large motherboard with one daughterboard attached. It has two processors, an M6809 and a Z80. This board is compatible with the Konami Standard and will plug into any machine wired for that standard. It appears that there was both an encrypted and an unencrypted version of the game, there is no gameplay difference between them, but they do use slightly different hardware.

Looking at my own Super Basketball board I can see that the identifying numbers have been purposely scraped off of many of the surface mounted chips. That was probably an anti-piracy measure, as I have seen other Super Basketball boards that have had the same thing done to them.

Where to play

I am not aware of any console ports of this game, but you can play it using the MAME emulator, as it is supported completely. There are probably not a lot of real Super Basketball machines left. Most mid-80s conversion games are nearly impossible to find actually installed in a cabinet. Most of them were reconverted a long time ago.

You might not be able to find a real machine, but the arcade boards to this game are incredibly cheap. You might very well be able to pick up the boards to this title on eBay for under $10. This title isn't JAMMA compatible, but it wouldn't be hard to make an adaptor so you could play it in your JAMMA cabinet.

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