iOOTP Baseball 2014 [$4.99] is the kind of game that numbers junkies will go nuts over. It’s also the kind of game that will have people who need control of every single aspect glued to their tablet from April to October (or November, if your team makes the playoffs).

The 2014 edition of iOOTP improves upon last year’s in a number of ways, the biggest of which is the inclusion of a player editor, allowing you to edit stats for every single player on your team. You also get a much better AI system, who will provide a good challenge, and retina support, which is great for all the text you’ll be reading, but doesn't seem to be a huge inclusion.

Like the previous version, all players and teams are officially licensed by the MLB and MLBPA. Oddly, though, team logos seem to be generic images, and aren't the actual team logos. Player ratings are based on the actual PECOTA model, resulting in fairly accurate representations of batters, catchers and pitchers. The interface has been overhauled, which is now more streamlined and lets you get to where you want to be quicker.

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The bread and butter of iOOTP 2014 is season mode, where you pick a team and manage it throughout the season, and into the playoffs (should you be so lucky), at the end of which you’re given a score based on how well you did. As the general manager, you’ll have to negotiate contracts, sign free agents, bring up from the minors, and control every aspect of the team. You will have a salary cap, based on the team you’ve chosen, that you’ll have to remain under, thereby forcing a bit of strategy in your player decisions.

If you’re not in the mood for a full length season, you can create a fictional league, or play one of three historical seasons. Aside from the three given to you, others can be purchased with real money.

As you progress through the season, you’ll be at the helm of every single decision to be made. You can see pitchers, batting order, infielders and outfielders. If your pitcher is doing poorly, you can visit the mound for a pep talk, or swap him for someone else. You can have your infielders and outfielders switch positions, tell your batter to bunt, and have full control over stealing and running. There’s a heavy calculation going on behind the scenes, which makes for some very fun baseball. You can either play each game, inning by inning, and read the action unfold, or you can have the AI play up to a certain inning, or the entire game. The commentator seems to have a large amount of dialog, and does a great job as if he were a real person.

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Your players will do good. Your players will do bad. They will age and retire, forcing you to replace them with some fresh talent. There will be injuries, there will be hall of fame inductees. There will be lots to take in, and lots to doll out. There are thirty achievements to unlock, as well as leaderboards.

As expected, there are no visuals to be had, aside from menus and the drawn commentator as he does his play-by-play, and absolutely no sound effects, which is odd. Why is it completely quiet? Surely a cheer when you win, or a boo when you lose, or even some menu musak would’ve added to the game.

iOOTP Baseball 2014 is a niche game. For those who love numbers and micromanaging, you’ll be in heaven. For those wanting a game you “play” instead of command, you’ll be lost and most likely bored. The formula hasn’t changed drastically, but the inclusion of a player editor is a big step forward. I’m off to name all my players James, and create the most confusing team in the history of the sport.

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarStarNone
  • anabolicMike

    No. Most confusing team In sports has Who on first, Don't Know on third and Whats pitching.

  • LarryWP

    I wish they would put some sounds in. Crowd, organ, something!

  • curtneedsaride

    Still surprised you can't manually save AND revert to an older save file. If you "Save" and keep playing then close the app, you will pick up right where you left off by loading your save, and NOT where you actually "Saved" the game. SO FRUSTRATING!

    Also, I'm still waiting for them to add a ball/strike count on the field view so I know what it is at all times. AND an actual pitch count instead of just "Good" or "Exhausted." You know, the stats I want to see in a stat-heavy manager. But they just don't ever seem to listen or respond to my requests. And it's been a few years of the same thing.

    • Brad Cook

      You can go to the batter/hitter matchup view to see the pitch count. But, yes, it would be good to see it on the field view, along with ball-strike out.

      Also, if you close the app and then reopen it, you don't need to reload your saved game.

      That said, we do listen to requests. We just can't always implement everything. (For disclosure's sake, I work for the company.)

      • curtneedsaride

        Thanks for the tip! The reason I want to be able to load saves from a specific save is that I will save before a game, start playing the game, accidentally hit "bunt" instead of "take pitch" quite a few times. End up getting murdered. Then I want to go load my save file from before that bad game and try playing it again without bunting. I've also just messed up tactics and gotten slaughtered and wanted to try a game again, but the save file always seems to take me back to where I left the app, not where I tapped on "save."

      • Brad Cook

        That's a good reason to have that. Maybe we'll be able to add it in an update.

        We added the manual save button because when the game first came out in 2011, it just had the auto-save, and we had issues with people running earlier versions of iOS who were ending up with corrupted saves. It's been there ever since, and we've felt it makes sense to keep it since it can be handy.

        But, yes, if you can't revert to a specific save, it's not as useful as it once was. We'll have to revisit that thinking at some point. Thanks.

      • curtneedsaride

        Thank you for explaining that and replying!

      • curtneedsaride

        In fact, why is there a manual "save" button at all in this? The app seems to resume you where you left off no matter whether I use the save button or not.

    • Brad Cook

      Also, if you switch to pitch-by-pitch mode, which you can do any time while playing out games, you'll see the balls and strikes. I forgot about that, since I always do one-pitch (and balls and strikes don't matter much in one-pitch).

      • curtneedsaride

        Yeah, I'll play one-pitch quite a bit. But I mostly want to see the ball/strike count when I am batting. And I love the field view since we don't have a behind the plate or in the dug out view. And usually when I'm watching baseball, I'll look at that score ticker up in the corner hundreds of times to reference balls/strikes, outs, who's on what base, and the pitch count. Thanks for letting me know where to find it though! That might help in case we don't see it in an update. I appreciate your time.

  • timmfox

    Great game. If you love baseball, you will love this. One feature I would like to see is iCloud saves, like the way FF VI did it.

    • Brad Cook

      Unfortunately, due to the size of iOOTP's saves, Apple won't let us add cloud saving. The file is too large.

      • timmfox

        Thanks for responding.

  • MarcVaughan

    Really nice to see OOTP getting a review on TouchArcade, its a great game and deserves the exposure :D

  • Jake7905

    Absolutely love this franchise, it's a required yearly purchase for me. I just wish someone would make the same type of game for the NBA and the NFL (real football).

  • khann

    Hmmm...any game people can compare this to? Maybe someone can direct me to a good video reviews. I would really like to see how the game plays.

    • Phil_Lapineau

      Closest comparison would be the Football (soccer) Manager series.

  • fastspinecho

    If we unlocked historical seasons in a prior version of the game, will they still be unlocked in OOTP 2014?

iOOTP Baseball 2014 Edition Reviewed by James Paterson on . Rating: 4