Based on the Warner Bros. movie of the same name, this is a lighthearted romp where Basketball superstar Michael Jordan teams up with Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes stable to play ball against the evil alien Monstars. Make baskets into the magnetic hoop for multiball and extra balls, race with the Road Runner and the Tasmanian Devil for the Fast Break, then get on Fire and score some ten-pointers. Get the Rebound, complete the Slam, and get In Yer Face, then light all seven planets and start the Final Jam with Number 23 himself.
Like the movie itself, Space Jam is considered by many as a decent Guilty Pleasure, with So Okay, It's Average gameplay spiced up with an original playfield and marred by Sega's small arcade marketshare. While it has not been Vindicated by History, the game did find new life several years later, when it was revised and re-released as NBA.
Space Jam demonstrates the following tropes:
- Adapted Out: Lola Bunny is nowhere to be found.
- Amusing Injuries: Daffy Duck is frequently seen being pelted with basketballs.
- Arc Number: 23 (Michael Jordan's jersey number) appears frequently, both as a playfield Spelling Bonus and as the number of seconds available for several game modes.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: All of the Looney Tunes characters, of course.
- Match Sequence: After the Tasmanian Devil devours the word "Match", he gets hit by a basketball and falls down, with the match digits rising into view.
- Roger Rabbit Effect
- Skill Shot: Launch the ball through a basket for 300,000 points, then shoot the left ramp for a Super Skill Shot bonus.
- Spelling Bonus: S-P-A-C-E-J-A-M enables the Superjam mode, 2-3 enables the Wabbit Hole, F-I-R-E temporarily makes all baskets worth 10 points, and S-L-A-M raises the bonus multiplier.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Michael Jordan is prominently featured over all of the other characters, and even relegates Bugs Bunny to the background.
- Lesser Star: Bugs Bunny, due to Jordan stealing the spotlight.
- Symbol Swearing: The Spelling Bonus for the Tasmanian Devil's lane is spelled out with various symbols.
- Tap on the Head: The Tasmanian Devil gets knocked out with a basketball to the head in the Match Sequence.
- That's All, Folks!: Delivered by Porky at the end, of course.Porky Pig: Th-th-th-th-th-that's the end of the game, folks!
- Video Mode: Move a basket to catch balls thrown by Jordan and the Looney Tunes characters. Each catch is worth 50,000 points, with a bonus for catching all sixteen.
- Wizard Mode: "Final Jam," available after completing all seven game modes. This is a Timed Mission where all five pinballs are launched into the playfield, and the object is to shoot the basket as frequently as possible within 60 seconds. Each target adds 10,000 points to the award value, and the basket collects it.