When I was asked to review the iPhone app Baseball Kings I was kind of excited about it. First of all I like baseball and baseball video games when done right are usually fun as hell. Then I played Baseball Kings and I was like WTF?? I feel like I was duped! It's not that it isn't a fun game, it's just not really baseball. Let me explain further...
First let's talk about Graphics. It looks like baseball. It has pitchers, it has batters, it has a baseball field and even baseball sounds. The fields are green, the sand is light brown, and the uniforms are colorful. If it was based on graphics alone I would think it's baseball. It definitely looks like baseball. But that's where things start to fall a little short.
Game play is where Baseball Kings goes off the rails. First I'll explain that this game has two game play modes. Pitching and Batting. Pitching is fun and Batting is not. Pitching works like this. When the batter lines up the catcher moves his glove to show the pitcher where he wants the ball. Then sometimes there's an arrow that points to the left or to the right. This is telling you which way the ball is going to curve when you throw it. Another factor is how colored in the arrow is. If it's mostly full then the ball is going to curve harder than if it's less colored in. The more color, the harder the break in the curve. So if the ball is curving to the right the a player needs to flick to the left to compensate for the curve so the ball goes over the plate. The same goes for a curve to the left. Players need to flick to the right. I found this part of the game fun, challenging, and definitely entertaining. The curve and flick system reminded me of a game like office jerk or paper toss. In those games you are flicking to get paper or other items to go where you want. You have to compensate for the speed of the fan. Baseball Kings has the same game play in a different game. It's fun but only half of the story! Now we move to batting.
Batting is a snooze fest. As a batter the only thing you are doing is pushing a button and triggering the slot machine batting system. If you get a jackpot you get a hit, if you don't you are out. There's no timing a pitch, there's no running after the pitch, there's NO BASEBALL! It's like a slot machine system with a baseball theme. Personally I would like to see actual batting. Being able to flick to swing, or at least watch a pitch and time it to get a real hit would be nice. Something that resembles baseball would make this game more realistic and much more fun.
Overall I thing part of this game is fun and part of it is not so as a result I say it's a 50/50 shot on whether anyone would like it or not. Give it a try and let me know what you think. Watch the video to see all of what i'm talking about here.