A dozen games into Baseball Apocalypse, I spotted a little sign on the ground that said 'We need a miracle'. It pretty much summed up my feelings at that point.
I get the sense there's an amusing and possibly even great game at the heart of Baseball Apocalypse trying in vain to get out, but it's been bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat.Strike one
The premise in the game is that the world has come to a very abrupt end. Volcanoes are erupting. Skulls are parachuting down from the sky, intent on devouring everything in their path.
You're apparently the last remaining soul and also a professional baseball robot, coincidentally programmed to annihilate parachuting demon skulls.
Sadly, this robot wasn't programmed to quickly aim and hit anything, nor armed with, say, some kind of machine gun - because either of those things would have given you a fighting chance.
Instead, you walk left and right, tapping a button to start a swing and then another to strike the ball. If you're fortunate, you might survive a few seconds in the downpour of skulls, scoring a handful of points.Strike two
Chances are you won't last for long, because this game is tough. Not in a Wave Wave kind of way.
The developer's previous effort was insanely challenging, but every screw-up felt like it was your fault. Here, the game throws too much at you, too quickly, without giving you the tools for survival.
The controls - three buttons at the very bottom of the screen - prove fiddly. Skulls fall thick and fast, but you've also got to dodge rocks falling from the sky.
Your swing is slow but can't aim very low, meaning if any boney critter makes it past your head, you're probably done for. Also, balls that miss their targets aren't replenished, which just comes across as unnecessarily mean.Strike three
Visually, the game's quite nice, and the crunchy chip-tune soundtrack is pleasant enough.
But otherwise this one resembles ancient DOS effort Parachute on fast-forward, when with a bit of tweaking it could and should have been a madcap and surreal post-apocalyptic PUK.