Very few sports games apps use baseball as the focus activity. Perhaps it’s because hitting a ball as far as you can over and over again would be laborious – as an app, at least. However tedious such a game might sound, Baseball boy manages to successfully make it interesting, and worth your time - although, it’s certainly not the game of baseball we’d all recognise.
In Baseball Boy, players take the role of a small boy with a peculiarly large and square head. He holds a bat, and in front of him is a constantly swaying arrow moving between a scale of red to yellow. The aim of the game is simple: tap the screen when the arrow hits red in the middle and our quadrilateral character will hit the baseball as far and straight as possible. Tap slightly to the left in the yellow areas, though, and your ball will veer off out of peripheral vision. Even if you hit the perfect shot, there are cars, buildings, and trees in the way to prevent you from reaching your highest score.
For every shot you make, money will be rewarded. The further you hit the ball, the better the reward. This money can then be spent of improving your character’s strength, the speed the ball travels in the air, its bounciness, and the finances earned whilst offline. The former three all directly impact how far you can hit the ball, ultimately enabling you to gain more and more cash as you progress.
Your personal best will be marked, giving you an indication of how far you need to hit your next shot. However, this doesn’t only act as a personal incentive, but it allows you to see how close you are to the game’s next milestone. Surpass each milestone (or level), and you’ll be rewarded a brand new bat, ranging from a banana to a fish. Unlockables currently finish as 17,000m, which you’ll soon realise takes a heft amount of playtime to reach.
Baseball Boy is an enjoyable take on the sport. It doesn’t take itself too seriously with its Minecraft-like block visuals and silly unlockable bats. Upgrades can be achieved nearly every other shot, so at no point does it feel like you’re having to grind just to make your character hit the ball further. The ability to earn in-game currency when offline is helpful, meaning you’re not required to play 24/7 just to improve.
It doesn’t take itself too seriously with its Minecraft-like block visuals and silly unlockable bats.
The only issue is with advertising. In the gold mine that is the app industry, it’s understandable why so many companies sell themselves to adverts. But in Baseball Boy, adverts appear every two shots. That’s too often. We’ve come to recognise and accept that advertising is a part of the industry, but there’s still a limit as to how much is too much, and Baseball Boy surpasses it.
If that doesn’t faze you, though, then Baseball Boy is an enjoyable sports game with a twist. It may not be true to the game of baseball, but, like a lot of sports mashups, some might find it better than the real thing.
|A fun take on baseball. Replayability||Too much advertising|