Soccer simulation games are a huge deal on mobile devices. You can’t give baseball sims the same kind of pat on the back, but perhaps we’ll be able proclaim something similar in the near future: Out of the Park Baseball is poised to make its debut on the smaller Apple handhelds later this month, bringing with it it’s own brand of MLB management.
For a little context here, Out of the Park Baseball is a text-heavy baseball manager. It made its first appearance on PC back in 1999. Since then, it’s seen a handful of iterations, each increasingly gaining more popularity and critical awareness. The games are good, so of course there's going to be a mobile port.
This specific version somewhat obviously drops the cursor interface in favor of touch. In the build I’ve checked out, the response and integration is great, but do keep in mind that OOTP 2011 is not a game where you actually play baseball: it’s a straight-up simulation, so the extent to which you can utilize touch is limited to just menus. In fact, the entire game is really just a series of dynamic menus, perfect for any stat-hungry sports fan.
But, hey, the touch works. And even better, the game scales well to touch devices.
OOTP 2011 lets you take any MLB team with its current roster and take it through a career mode. As the GM, you’ll be allowed to trade players, set up line-ups and rotations, and all the rest that comes with the territory, including developing minor league players.
The game also has a fictional league and a historical league career option. What is has to offer on the latter is neutered at the moment, but from what we understand, in-app purchase will be a key driver in bringing new historical teams and rosters to the game.
Earlier this afternoon, I started a career with my beloved Boston Red Sox. And in an effort to rekindle some of yesteryear’s magic, I traded Tampa Bay for Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez (still on the list in our build). Things aren’t going so well, but you know what? That’s cool. Damon is back in Beantown; and that’s all that matters.
I’ll be excited to see a full build of the game, though I’d imagine what I’m seeing now is about as polished as the game will get. If that’s indeed the case, simulation fans that dig the MLB really shouldn’t miss out on OOTP -- it’s a sharp game with a snappy and native-feeling interface, full of the kind of complexity you’d expect.
As an aside here, please add Nomar to the FA list? I know he’s retired and stuff, but ...