Game Reviews

Boomtime Baseball

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| Boomtime Baseball
Boomtime Baseball
| Boomtime Baseball

Modern day baseball is a sport that many take for granted, with very little sense of the sport's history.

Before Babe Ruth came to the World Series and helped popularise modern baseball, players had to content themselves with hitting flyballs at gigantic wooden targets that were wheeled around the baseball diamond.

At least, this is the alternative history that Boomtime Baseball wants us to remember. It presents not a historical look at the early league play of the 1920s but rather a series of baseball-themed mini-games set in the same time period.

Play at the plate

Everything in Boomtime Baseball, from the sepia filter over the graphics to the scratchy jazz music, recalls with great fondness the historical time period of the 1920s. In such a lush and well-presented environment, it's easy to get swept up in the old-timey, carefree atmosphere that the game creates.

After selecting a character, you're walked through the basics of how to hit a ball when it's pitched.

This is accomplished in an unconventional manner. There's a floating blue smudge on your screen that you tap and pull back for power. Aiming is negotiated by sliding your finger right or left, and you release it when two circles on the screen overlap.

Time it correctly and you'll hit the ball cleanly. Swing too late and it's a strike.

It's in your best interest to pay close attention to this tutorial and to practise it a few times, as this is really the only gameplay that you will be doing in Boomtime Baseball.

Foul ball

While Boomtime Baseball boasts a lot of varied mini-games, each of them unfortunately revolves around the simple hit-the-pitch style of gameplay introduced in the tutorial.

No matter what style of gameplay is selected or unlocked, you'll simply be tasked with hitting a ball at a target somewhere on the field.

Even a trip to Big Al's Casino, which promises to be a distraction from the action of the field, revolves around the same gameplay, with gigantic face-down playing cards set up around the field with each representing a prize (cash, coins, or casino tokens).

The end result of all of this is that Boomtime Baseball feels incredibly repetitious after even ten to 15 minutes of gameplay.

The colourful commentary of the baseball announcer only serves to underline this repetition, as what could have been a nice feature to enhance the player experience instead cycles through the same two or three phrases for each action in the game.

Further exacerbating the tedium is the slightly stingy freemium model. If you choose not to purchase coins or cash with hard currency, then Boomtime Baseball begins to feel more like a chore than a proper game.

Say it ain't so, Joe

If you're looking to scratch your on-the-go baseball gaming itch, Boomtime Baseball will deliver a fun half-of-a-game (there's no pitching or fielding to concern yourself with, after all).

To its credit, it does all of this for free with a bit of a steep lean towards in-app purchases if you want to purchase anything of real consequence.

Ultimately, Boomtime Baseball is best enjoyed in short play sessions with plenty of time between them so that the gameplay, commentary, and old-time antics (of which there are sadly few) retain their fresh and exciting feel.

Boomtime Baseball

Good fun that gets old quickly, this old-time baseball sim could certainly benefit from some variety in gameplay
Matthew Diener
Matthew Diener
Representing the former colonies, Matt keeps the Pocket Gamer news feed updated when sleepy Europeans are sleeping. As a frustrated journalist, diehard gamer and recovering MMO addict, this is pretty much his dream job.