Creating a captivating, detailed sports management sim for mobile - or any platform - is a daunting prospect.
So, for that matter, is creating a compelling sports game that's every bit as exciting and faithful to the action of its real-world counterpart.
With MLB Perfect Inning, developer Gong Games attempted to do both - and the results are unfortunately less than perfect.
From the outset, MLB Perfect Inning looks like it'll be a great game.
The big draw is its official MLB licensing, which allows you play as any one of the 30 Major League Baseball teams and take them through a full 162-game schedule for the 2014 season.
Being a masochist, and a honouring my family in Queens, I decided to pick the Mets.
On my first home game, I was really drawn in by how realistic Citi Field looked on my iPad's screen - from the iconic Home Run Apple in centre field to the position of screens in the stadium, it's a real visual treat.
Less impressive, however, were the faces of the 215 "fully rendered" players - who all looked a bit unsettling during close-ups but moved with an impressive amount of fluidity as they adopted their usual pitching, batting, and fielding stances. But, as we've seen elsewhere lately, good graphics do not a good game make - and that's the case with MLB Perfect Inning from start to finish.
Out of left field
This is primarily because Perfect Inning tries too hard to be two different games: a richly detailed sports simulator and an accessible baseball game.
In taking control of a team, you'll need to manage everything from their roster to their training, with players advancing through an upgradeable (bronze to platinum) "card" system.
Simply put, the screens of numbers you'll face during this half of the game are nothing short of daunting and confusing - but those who enjoy hardcore, numbers-driven sports games might find this enjoyable.
As an action-heavy game, Perfect Inning simply feels too difficult to be fun.
On the mound, you'll select pitches using a virtual joystick interface and then have to time a tap over home plate to pull it off properly. Tap too early, or too late, and you'll lob a slow softball right across the heart of the plate.
This sounds like a simple mechanic, and it is - but the timing is incredibly exacting and your pitchers lose stamina quickly.
On the batting side, you tap to swing when the ball's in the right position.
Rather intuitive, really, but the pitching problem bleeds through here as fastballs are never quite fast enough and breaking pitches pull some truly physics-defying moves.
As such, you'll frequently swing too early at a 75 mile-per-hour "fast ball" or watch in mute rage as a wide ball arcs into the strike zone at the last minute.
Either way, you won't be getting a lot of hits using the default batting method - and good luck if you try to adjust the position/angle of the bat manually.
Thankfully, those who prefer stats over action can select "AI Play" for each game and watch the numbers fly as Perfect Inning plays through the games for you.
Similarly, if you prefer batting over pitching you can select "Offense" and let the game handle the fielding while you work on the batting. All glove, no love
Even with these customisation options, however, MLB Perfect Inning feels like a rush job.
From the bright red "NOTIFICATIONS!" heading to every pop-up box to the choppy plural of "mails" in your in-game inbox, it's clear that MLB Perfect Inning could have benefitted from a bit of extra polish on the localisation front.
Add to this an always-on internet requirement that dumps you out of a game if your connection fluctuates and it's difficult to recommend MLB Perfect Inning as a game.
Or, rather, it would be if it weren't free.
There's a solid, richly detailed baseball sim hidden inside of MLB Perfect Inning - but you'll have to dig a bit to find it.
Its action might be too difficult for some and its numbers might be too daunting for others, but chances are good that you might find something to enjoy here if you're a hardcore fan of baseball sims.