Baseball Riot Review – PC
It seems in the 21st century of smartphones, tablets and all things touch screen, gaming has truly gone mobile and accessible to levels our distant ancestors of ten years ago could never have imagined. Baseball Riot is quite clearly a product of this generation.
From ‘1otons’, the minds that brought you ‘Tennis in the Face’ (quite literally), Baseball Riot takes the formulaic click-and-point physics game play and ramps it up a notch by…changing the implement your character holds? Well yeah that’s pretty much it, because now your baseball bat wielding hero has to…take on an energy drink company? Or a disgruntled trainer? I’m not entirely sure what the story is, but let’s face it in a world of gaming where all you have to do is touch and release, I think that any kind of story can take a backseat.
Baseball Riot drops you right into the action and sets you up in a series of increasingly challenging levels whereby you must fling a projectile around the screen taking out enemies and destroying objects- hang on, this sounds remarkably like a certain other title about some irate ornithological types. Yes, Baseball Riot does ring very heavily of Angry Birds, but then again that game was of course lifted directly from ‘Crush the Castle’, so let’s leave the ‘who started it’ thing and focus on the why.
It’s clear that this formula is a winner, given that it is easy for anyone of any age to play. In Baseball Riot, simply use your finger, mouse cursor or analogue stick to aim the baseball and then fire! The physics of the game are sleek and smooth, taking advantage of the jump in processing power that older games didn’t have. The baseball has a set number of bounces before it breaks, plus you only have three balls to use (unless you’re good enough to earn yourself a shiny bonus ball), meaning that each go must be correctly angled and timed in order to hit your targets.
And speaking of targets, what exactly are you trying to hit? Well each level has three carefully placed golden stars (yes, that seems to be a staple of mobile game scoring) which need to be collected if you’re going for the 100% completion. But of course, as you progress you’ll get better and a simple game map allows you to jump back into any level at any time to collect those last few straggling stars you may have missed. Antagonists in the game, aside from the level design itself, come in the form of a grumpy looking old man who is duplicated around the stage and can be knocked over with a careful bit of pre-thought, plus getting a headshot on the old boy will net you extra points! Add to that the large chunks of glass that are dotted around the level and you’re facing a serious challenge to rack up all those gold stars!
The graphic style is nice and very reminiscent of ‘Tennis to the Face’, however the style seems somewhat dated already and lacks the creative originality of its predecessors like ‘Angry Birds’ and ‘Crush the Castle’. More dynamic backgrounds and perhaps some environmental effects could have added to the personality of the game which, let’s face it, is using a pretty generic formula.
Baseball Riot is a fun and pretty addictive little game that will likely appeal to commuters, kids, adults, grandparents and anyone who fancies a quick pick-up-and-play fix to pass a few minutes. For anyone who spent countless hours catapulting birds into towers, Baseball Riot may come as a welcome change where the aim is less destruction and more strategy. The Steam version is smooth and sleek, working great with the mouse, however to stick it on the Xbox One or PS4 might make your console feel a bit ashamed, since after all this game looks identical on a mobile phone!
And I’d have to say that’s where the real audience for this title lies – the mobile market, the genre that in recent years has gone from strength to strength and given its consumers countless titles to get their fingertips into. Baseball Riot lends itself well to the touch screen device and as such will be a great little time-filler if you fancy a quick challenge!
Get grabbing those stars, enjoy the whacky physics and get ready to do a lot of replaying as you crack through those levels!