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iPhone  header logo

Flick Baseball Pro


For: iPhone

Pinch hitter

Product: Flick Baseball Pro | Developer: Freeverse | Publisher: Freeverse | Format: iPhone | Genre: Sports | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: US | App version: 1.0
 
Flick Baseball Pro iPhone, thumbnail 1
In the episode of sitcom Seinfeld entitled "The Chaperone," George Constanza has the New York Yankees switch uniforms from stiff polyester to a seemingly more comfortable, attractive-looking cotton blend.

His attempt to give the team a snappy new look and a comfy outfit in which to play results in disaster. The Yankees uniforms shrink in the wash, making them impractical to wear and ridiculous to look at.

There are two lessons to be learned: first, never listen to Constanza; and second, function always trumps style when it comes to sports.

Flick Baseball Pro
doesn't adhere to this tenet, instead lacking much of the functionality of a good baseball game in lieu of stylish graphics and easy-going controls.

Cracker Jack

It's a game of extremes: great gameplay mechanics paired with an abysmal set of features. When it comes to control and presentation, no other game comes close to Flick Baseball Pro. The inability to build a compelling game atop these fundamentals leaves a mediocre game.

A snazzy-looking average game at that. Opting for an angular cartoon visual style, it features polished transitions, good-looking players, and customisable uniforms. Clever logos and names for each of the 37 original teams (no official MLB license, folks) lend a particular charm.

Solid though not totally original controls make pitching and batting fun too. After selecting from four different types of pitches, you throw the ball by tilting your device to aim and tapping the screen. Batting is handled in a similar manner, with a tap of the screen swinging the bat. Tilting your handset enables you to adjust your aim.

Cheap beer

Disappointingly, Flick Baseball Pro offers little in the way of compelling modes in which to leverage these fine controls. One-off Exhibition games join a basic Season mode - that's it. No multiplayer, no home run derby, no drafting. Multiplayer is a particularly stunning omission, if only because it would do much to counter the shallow single player experience.

Season mode is surprisingly basic. Upon selecting a team for competition in a 11-, 33-, 66-, or 165-game season, you're thrust into the action manually playing match-ups or simulating them. There's nothing substantial to be done between games: you can tweak the colours of your team's uniform, reassign numbers, and even check out the season calender.

Switching up the colour of your uniforms is apparently all the team management you need. That's how Derek Jeter made it to the top, clearly.

Felt pennant

Developer Freeverse has obviously approached this from a casual perspective, which can be the only explanation for the stunning lack of depth in Season mode. Why else would the game fail to keep track of player accomplishments and vital game stats throughout the season? I had taken such a simple feature for granted in other baseball games, and its omission here is jarring.

Yet, the inclusion of lengthy 66- and 165-game seasons signify that Freeverse wants to attract the interest of hardcore baseball fans. No casual fan would want to sink the time into something that long. Ironically, no dedicated fan would either given the lack of depth.

There are other issues as well: batting on the player side is unbalanced with too many pop-flys and foul balls and the computer too easily anticipates pitches for scoring hits. These two flaws alone would be make Flick Baseball Pro unsuited for the title of iPhone MVP, but together with the paucity of modes and features it's hard to recommend stepping up to this plate.
 
Flick Baseball Pro
Reviewer photo
Tracy Erickson | 18 May 2010
Flick Baseball Pro is a good-looking, yet unashamedly shallow game without the modes and features needed to really play ball
 
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