Innovating Arcade Basketball: Slam ‘n’ Jam Ultra

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How do you innovate in a category as established as the basketball arcade game?

For a couple of decades, basketball arcade games have been a staple in FECs worldwide. As the class has grown, many venues have created a dedicated area just for basketball, with multiple units linked for competitive play.  With such an established following, how do you draw guests’ attention to a new entry in the basketball category?

In a word: innovate. Players want to have new and exciting experiences that go beyond what already exists, so manufacturers must find ways to give that to them. When developing Slam ‘n’ Jam Ultra, LAI Games included features that elevate it beyond your typical arcade basketball game.


Today’s players are looking for modern technology that enhances gameplay. Slam ‘n’ Jam Ultra arcade basketball incorporates a vibrant 32-inch HDTV backboard that augments game play with a progress meter and score, along with game timer and the goal the player needs to progress to the next round. The display enhances, rather than detracts from, gameplay, by displaying the information the player needs to succeed at the game.


We’ve incorporated some key aspects into Slam ‘n’ Jam Ultra to make the experience more compelling than just shooting hoops. For example, the Carry Your Team feature allows players in linked games to continue playing without earning tickets when they fail to make it to the next round. That way, they don’t have to sit on the sidelines while their friends continue to have fun. The game will also grade players on their performance to let them know how they’re doing and the likelihood of making it to the next level.


Friendly competition is a major factor in driving repeat plays. Slam ‘n’ Jam Ultra players race the clock to beat their goal in up to five round of competitive play.  Local leaderboards encourage top players to try to beat the current high score and win the Super Bonus ticket jackpot.

Stunning Looks

With an arcade full of great looking games competing for attention, new games must be visually stunning to attract players. Slam ‘n’ Jam Ultra has a sleek, modern look and glowing LED lighting effects, in addition to attractive backboard animations, enhanced further by cool soundtracks and entertaining play-by-play commentary. The sleek acrylic ball gate and ball shield give an unobstructed view of the basket, while the durable steel net gives the game old-school street basketball appeal and holds up to a high volume of plays.

For a truly impressive presentation, up to eight cabinets can be linked for competitive play.

This isn’t the first time LAI Games has innovated in this category. In 2017, we reinvented arcade basketball with HYPERshoot, which won the AMOA Innovator Award for that year. The game features LAI Games’ unique HYPER TunnelTM that tracks the flight of the ball with reactive light trails that can be configured in a variety of different colors. Amusing live action commentary makes every throw fun and rewarding. In a unique twist, players are awarded extra points for scoring in quick succession, increasing the fun and competitive game play aspect. Like Slam ‘n’ Jam Ultra, HYPERshoot supports up to eight cabinets linked for competitive play.

Slam ‘n’ Jam Ultra offers unique features for a modern audience, while appealing to old-school basketball fans. And with its affordable price tag, it also hits the sweet spot for location owners.

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