Sometimes in between all your monster killing, road racing, football playing and various other big games, you just want a game you can pick up, play and simply have fun with. Baseball Riot definitely fits the bill on this one; a basic games that requires skill and spacial awareness to get through. The game is not dissimilar to the Angry Birds style of game, and consequently is a fun and addictive game, that might start off fairly easy but the difficulty curves up the more you progress through the levels.
Baseball Riot: Xbox One [Reviewed], iOS, Windows PC [PlayStation 4 and PS Vita coming January 2016.]
Release Date: 9 December 2015
Price: £3.99 [Disclosure Game Copy provided by Developer/Publisher]
Whilst the story is not particularly cruicial to the game, you are introduced to the retired baseball player that you’ll be taking control of for the game. His team has been taken over by an evil cooperation, and its your job (and his) to try and stop them. In order to do this, you will go through various levels filled with different baddies and obstacles you have to try and avoid and destroy. To do this, you’ll be hitting 3 baseballs around the levels, and watch as they bounce off the walls and, hopefully, knock out the enemies. Your first aim is to knock out all the enemies in a level with your 3 balls, but at the same time you also want to be collecting the 3 stars that are scattered around too.
You pick an angle to hit the ball in your given level, but once the ball leaves your bat, its eventual destination is out of your hands. You must use your spacial awareness and foresight to guess the path the ball will take, and hope it knocks out as many enemies in the process. Unfortunately, a lot of this is based on luck, and hitting a ball into the same place all 3 times can cause 3 different paths and outcomes, so there is hint of luck needed in every shot you take. You’ll need to take more time to figure out where you’ll need to hit the ball in the later levels, as there will be curves, gaps, vending machines, ball machines, and various other items you will need to avoid and make use of in order to get all 3 stars in a level, as well as taking out all the enemies.
These enemies come in different forms. In the beginning, it is fairly simple with basic fan, who can be knocked out by being hit anywhere on their body. Things get more difficult the further you get through the levels, when enemies can only be hit from behind or on their feet from the front, so you have to get a bit more creative with the possible flight path of your ball. If you manage to hit 3 enemies in one shot, then you get an extra ball to play with, so the game is quite generous with you in terms of the more difficult levels. As you get towards the later regions though, there’s a fairly hefty difficulty spike, and sometimes levels become even more luck based, and consequently a little annoying. You can do a level once and not hit anyone, then try it again using basically the same shots, and hit all enemies and stars in one go.
This probably isn’t a game you will sit and play for hours on end, but it is perfect for jumping on when you have a spare half hour or so. For me personally, it got frustrating very quickly when I couldn’t get past a level, and it caused me to give up on it and come back to later fairly frequently. You can only unlock the next region of levels by earning a certain score on your current region, so the game encourages you to get at least a decent amount of stars on each region. This means you will be playing every level at least once no doubt, and some you’ll be trying endlessly just to get that one extra star that seems impossible, until you get it and then you wonder how you ever missed it.
Baseball Riot looks as fun as it plays, with a cartoony design and lots of bright colours and loud noises to keep you entertained. The satisfying crack as the ball hits an enemy can’t be beaten, and it is quite mesmirising to watch the balls bouncing off the sides of the levels and see enemies fly into one another in a splash of colours. The fact is, this game would probably be more at home on a mobile or a tablet, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to play, and to look at and listen to whilst doing so.
For the bargain price of £3.99, Baseball Riot is well worth its money. With 8 regions of over 10 levels each, there is more than enough to keep you busy for plenty of hours. You’ll definitely have fun playing through the game, but unfortunately the luck based aspect to a lot of the later levels is one of the game’s only downfalls. Getting stuck on a level is fairly disheartening as well, but playing in small, short bursts is the best way to enjoy the game, and playing it for too long at a time with spoil the fun. It is hard not to recommend Baseball Riot at the price though, so if you are looking for a fun, simple but challenging game, have a smack about with Baseball Riot, and you’re unlikely to be disappointed.