Baseball Riot – Review

Title   Baseball Riot
Developer  10tons Ltd
Publisher  10tons Ltd
Platform  iOS, Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PS Vita
Genre  Action
Release Date  Jan 20, 2016

Baseball Riot comes by way of Finland from 10Tons and, much like last year’s Tennis in the Face, it is a simple 2D physics-based puzzle game. Indeed, this game is the sequel and it shows as Baseball Riot shares its graphics and gameplay pretty much to the letter.

Where Tennis in the Face put you in the shoes of a retired tennis pro who needs to take revenge against the Explodz Corporation after their energy drinks ruined his career, Baseball Riot sees you as a baseball star who also decides the easiest way to take down Explodz is to hit balls into the faces of their customers and employees.

Each level of the game (and there are over a hundred) sees you lining up a shot in a 2D setting and bouncing it off of various surfaces in order to knock out all the enemies in the game. Some of these are protected in different ways (headgear, protective suits etc.) and so you need to plan your shots carefully as just a pixel’s worth of movement will resort in an entirely different shot.

Hitting enemies can also cause them to ragdoll into other people or objects and with some explosive Explodz products littering the levels, the potential for mass demolition is pretty high. You only have three shots though (although others can be earned by knocking out three enemies in one shot) so you’ll be having plenty of tense final shots as you find yourself needing to bounce off of the scenery just right in order to penetrate some nook in the level.

Of course, when you nail those kind of shots, there’s nothing better. It taps into that kind of skill/luck balance that Peggle gave you and is truly rewarding, while just missing out is a frustration that can only be soothed with just one more go. Baseball Riot is addictive, and while it is a PS4/Vita cross-buy, you’ll be best off sticking to the Vita version with its pick-up-and-play access and handy touch-screen interface. As with Tennis in the Face, trial and error is the way forward. Finding the right solution is one thing but executing it is something else all together. In some ways bloody persistence beats skill and judgement here, but it still works well as a puzzle game and rewards you with a good feeling when you finally take down that prick of a level that’s been thwarting you for the last ten minutes.

As with its prequel, Baseball Riot has a simple 2D animation kind of a look to it. It looks like a mobile game because it essentially is one. On the Vita this is more tolerable but running it on your PS4 is like taking your Ferrari around to the local football pub. And of course, it looks identical to Tennis in the Face and even shares mostly the same plot and list of enemy types.

The only real difference now is that each level also contains three stars. Hitting those while also clearing out all the enemies is the key to progressing, and while you can afford to miss out on some stars, you can’t get away with it for too long.

Fans of Tennis in the Face could almost treat this as bonus level DLC but it’s cheap and cheerful and will prove to be a short but enjoyable diversion for puzzle fans. It’s addictive but it isn’t going to last long before you’ve tamed all those levels.

  • Solid puzzle action
  • Very addictive
  • Suited to pick-up-and-play sessions
  • Basic presentation
  • Is 99% the same game as its prequel
  • Essentially just a phone game

It's hard to recommend a game that is so simple in ambition and execution but it is an inexpensive title that's fun because it doesn't try too hard. You can probably find similar gameplay experiences on your phone right now for free but Baseball Riot is enjoyable enough that you may end up liking it.

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