Thanks to 10ton for providing us with a review copy.
At a cursory glance, players might compare Baseball Riot to Angry Birds. There are similarities such as shooting three round objects, scoring three stars, and knocking enemies over. However, the ball ricocheting off of objects and walls makes it more akin to playing a game of pool.
It may have launched as a mobile game, but don’t let that stop you from giving this game a shot.
There isn’t much of a story to Baseball Riot. The game starts and ends with newspaper headlines which serve more as an explanation for what you’re doing than to provide a narrative. In this case, it works, and a story isn’t really necessary.
The mechanics of the game are fairly simple: aim and shoot. You can’t change your position or the strength of your shot, and you don’t earn different ball or bat types. Where the challenge lies is in the level design and your ability to predict where the ball will move.
The goal of each level is to knock out all the players and fans on screen with three or fewer balls (though you can earn extras by hitting three or more with one ball). While collecting stars is necessary to proceed to the next world, this threshold isn’t hard to meet if you play each level, and in my case, I was only ever one or two stars away.
Each world introduces a new obstacle, whether it’s an umpire that can only be knocked over from behind or scrap metal that stops your ball but can be used to knock out your enemy. These add enough variety and difficulty to change up the game and make each world distinct – even if some elements share similar mechanics. If you want to make the game even harder, there are two bonus challenges to complete in every world. You also have the option to play with the touchscreen, if you prefer that over a controller.
Baseball Riot sports a colorful vector art style that is pleasing to the eyes. It even changes the basic enemy design to prevent the visuals from becoming stale. There’s also a bit of tension added, as you hear a beating heart when you hit your last ball. It’s a small, but nice touch. Unfortunately, there are only two songs during actual gameplay, and when you restart a level, so will the music. As often as I restarted levels, the songs are relaxed enough that I didn’t find it unbearable, but they do get tiring.
Baseball Riot looks simple but is complex enough to be a fun experience worth playing. It has roughly five hours worth of content and I would suggest playing it in short bursts. It costs $4.99 if you’re interested in buying it.