833267You can almost hear the groans coming when you start talking about a "casual" sports game. Somewhere along the way, the term "casual" has become a euphemism for "crappy mini". But Com2US's Baseball Slugger [App Store] is a notable exception and is a really fun game for both sports and non-sports fans alike.

The game is structured as a home run derby. You must hit as many home runs as possible before a designated number of outs is achieved. Simple goal, but Baseball Slugger shines in 3 different areas that make it a great game: 1) gameplay mechanic 2) online realtime multiplayer 3) upgradables.

The make or break aspect of all games is the control mechanic, and sports games are particularly sensitive to this aspect. In the end you are substituting some combination of buttons and directions to emulate an actual batting swing. We've seen various types of controls attempted, but Baseball Slugger's system seems to work best. Batting uses the accelerometer to aim your bat at the pitch. Different types of pitches will break differently and you need to be able to anticipate and properly aim at where the ball is coming. When the moment comes, you simply tap on the screen to swing. Tap too soon or too late and your ball will fly into foul territory.

833267_4

It's a simple mechanic and one we've seen before but it adds enough individual player skill into the mix to make it enjoyable and something you can actually work on improving.

Next, Baseball Slugger offers real-time head-to-head online multiplayer over both Wi-Fi and Cellular connections. You can pick "Matchup" from the menu and find yourself a random player to compete against. Baseball Slugger also contains a "rival" list in which you can add your friends. (A list of TouchArcade players has already been started in the forums). Different matchup rooms offer different skill sets so you can try to match up with someone that's ranked about the same as you.

833267_3Once the match starts, your opponent's game is inset into the top right of your screen (like picture-in-picture). The goal is to get your score bar filled before your opponent. Home runs, obviously, fill the bar faster. You can keep an eye on your opponent's progress and also see his hits and misses in real time. Special balls (gold balls, multipliers, etc...) appear at random times and can help boost your score and at least one ball can directly affect your opponent (blurs his/her perspective) -- that is, assuming you can hit the home run. The match ends when the first player fills their score bar. Multiplayer really adds a lot of long term playability to the game.

The final nice component to the game is an extensive upgrade system. The official count is 114 items that can be used to equip or customize your player. This can include physical changes such as hair, face, skin, uniform, shoes etc... but also equipment upgrades such as bats, gloves, and helmets. Besides making you look more intimidating, the upgrades also improve your abilities which should improve your game performance. The only way to earn these items is to keep playing and earning more gold with each game.

This video shows me playing very poorly, but should give you a taste of the game. (It's hard to play through a video camera LCD and I kept trying multiple times to record a respectable online match, but it was not to be). Arcade (single player) and Matchup (multiplayer) are shown:


[ Full HD version | Low Bandwidth version ]

All these together make for a surprisingly fun game that could last some players a very long time. The game's also been really well received by our forum members.

App Store Link: Baseball Slugger, $2.99

TouchArcade Rating

  • ramon

    Would I enjoy this if I don't like baseball?

    • arn

      I believe so. I'm not a baseball fan, but enjoyed it a lot.

      arn

  • ramon

    Would I enjoy this if I don't like baseball?

    • arn

      I believe so. I'm not a baseball fan, but enjoyed it a lot.

      arn

  • str1f3

    It looks cool and the graphics look good but I wish they would have made a full ge out of this.

  • str1f3

    It looks cool and the graphics look good but I wish they would have made a full ge out of this.

  • TMAC34

    To the post above me, 9 Innings is also by Com2Us and is similar in some ways. Its a great game also. Idk why 9 innings doesnt have online multiplayer tho. Anyways nice review arn. I hope it brings many new rivals for everyone and many more purchases for Com2Us. They really deserve it. This is an incredible game. And to think it is on my cell phone!

  • TMAC34

    To the post above me, 9 Innings is also by Com2Us and is similar in some ways. Its a great game also. Idk why 9 innings doesnt have online multiplayer tho. Anyways nice review arn. I hope it brings many new rivals for everyone and many more purchases for Com2Us. They really deserve it. This is an incredible game. And to think it is on my cell phone!

  • http://www.frapstr.com/ Mindfield

    For overall polish and audio this one definitely wins, but I think for variety of gameplay objectives, I prefer Skyworks' Batter Up! Baseball.

  • http://www.frapstr.com/ Mindfield

    For overall polish and audio this one definitely wins, but I think for variety of gameplay objectives, I prefer Skyworks' Batter Up! Baseball.

  • rich_952000

    This game is hard to put down...really. Fun, and very nice gameplay. A must have for anyone.

  • rich_952000

    This game is hard to put down...really. Fun, and very nice gameplay. A must have for anyone.

  • http://www.GalleyTech.com/ Galley

    Those players ned to lay off the juice!

  • http://www.GalleyTech.com/ Galley

    Those players ned to lay off the juice!

  • http://www.connection.ca networkman

    It's a good game. Get it now. It will put a smile on your face. :-)

    Add me as a rival, Networkman.

    See you sluggers soon.

  • http://www.connection.ca networkman

    It's a good game. Get it now. It will put a smile on your face. :-)

    Add me as a rival, Networkman.

    See you sluggers soon.

  • rich_952000

    With all this Commodore 64 Emulator talk consuming TA, I thought I'd just holler back after a couple days of non-stop Home Run hitting absorption.

    Basebal Slugger is by far my new favorite addiction:D this is an excellent online game flawless execution; props Com2us!

  • rich_952000

    With all this Commodore 64 Emulator talk consuming TA, I thought I'd just holler back after a couple days of non-stop Home Run hitting absorption.

    Basebal Slugger is by far my new favorite addiction:D this is an excellent online game flawless execution; props Com2us!

  • http://www.iphoneappvideoreviews.com Apple iPhone App Videos

    I love this game. I'm Jackmehoff on there if you want a good challenge. Great game for keeping me up later at night, playing quickly during a cigarette break, and sitting on the toilet way too long. I'm loving the online matchmaking, power ups, upgrades, and addicting gameplay.

  • http://www.iphoneappvideoreviews.com Apple iPhone App Videos

    I love this game. I'm Jackmehoff on there if you want a good challenge. Great game for keeping me up later at night, playing quickly during a cigarette break, and sitting on the toilet way too long. I'm loving the online matchmaking, power ups, upgrades, and addicting gameplay.

  • http://iphone.com2us.com Thorbjorn

    'Apple iPhone App Videos" said it all. Minus the cigarettes. Ucky.

  • http://iphone.com2us.com Thorbjorn

    'Apple iPhone App Videos" said it all. Minus the cigarettes. Ucky.

  • Raaga

    When I try and play match mode, its says "Network Connection Error [1]".
    I am connected to internet.

  • Raaga

    When I try and play match mode, its says "Network Connection Error [1]".
    I am connected to internet.

  • blake

    i wish this was compatible with 2.2.1

  • blake

    i wish this was compatible with 2.2.1

  • David

    i got the same problem as Raaga
    "When I try and play match mode, its says "Network Connection Error [1]".
    PLEASE HELP

    • erock

      its when you download the game illegally.

      • psiops

        I have it and I get the connection error.

        I payed for it legally

  • David

    i got the same problem as Raaga
    "When I try and play match mode, its says "Network Connection Error [1]".
    PLEASE HELP

    • erock

      its when you download the game illegally.

      • psiops

        I have it and I get the connection error.

        I payed for it legally

  • Rich1745

    Longest home run ever >>>3326ft MOON SHOT!<<<
    The Name Rich1745 !!!!

    • phil

      Bs

      • Naeem

        I hit one that was 3480. Ha! Beat that

  • Rich1745

    Longest home run ever >>>3326ft MOON SHOT!<<<
    The Name Rich1745 !!!!

    • phil

      Bs

      • Naeem

        I hit one that was 3480. Ha! Beat that

  • Naeem

    Its a great game. very addicting, the only thing I have a problem with is that it crashes while you play online from time to time. very annoying

  • Naeem

    Its a great game. very addicting, the only thing I have a problem with is that it crashes while you play online from time to time. very annoying

  • kas

    nice game but can piss you off quck in Matchup.. I've been 99% up the score board only to see my oponent beat me from quater way down the track in one hit, went from 6 ooo rank to 25000 in a half a day,, otherwise aracade is good fun

  • kas

    nice game but can piss you off quck in Matchup.. I've been 99% up the score board only to see my oponent beat me from quater way down the track in one hit, went from 6 ooo rank to 25000 in a half a day,, otherwise aracade is good fun