Game Reviews

iOOTP Baseball 2013

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| iOOTP Baseball 2013
iOOTP Baseball 2013
| iOOTP Baseball 2013

What sort of baseball fan are you?

Are you the kind of casual fan who likes watching the odd game with a few beers and a couple of friends?

Or are you the sort who enjoys the byzantine, almost arcane, world of baseball statistics?

If your head is filled with batting averages, slugging percentages, and the names of players from the mid-'50s, then the latest instalment in the iOOTP Baseball series is probably just the game that you've been waiting for.

If it's not, well, read on, anyway.

Number crunching

As is the case in its predecessors, the iOOTP Baseball 2013 experience is a silent one. No flashy animations, no background music, no crowd noise.

Some may consider this unnecessarily austere, but baseball purists will quickly understand why this silence is golden in this case. The focus of iOOTP Baseball 2013 isn't the baserunning 'action', you see, but rather the subtleties that underlie the action.

After launching the game, you're given the option to play in one of three modes: Major League, Fictional League, and Historical Replay.

In Major League mode, you can take the helm of any one of the 30 MLB teams, complete with up-to-date player rosters and accurate minor league draft pools.

Fancy fielding your own carefully crafted fantasy team, though? By selecting the Fictional League, you can do just that. Historical Replay, meanwhile, enables you to don some vintage uniforms and play through historical seasons from as far back as the early 1900s.

As a nice touch, by the way, the iOOTP Baseball developer allows you to import your iOOTP Baseball 2012 historical season data into iOOTP Baseball 2013.

Adding up

No matter which play mode you choose, however, iOOTP Baseball 2013 plays out the same.

You're given full front-office control of your team, so you can do everything from set rosters and analyse depth charts, right through to determining the aggressiveness of your baserunning.

While games are taking place, you're treated to an excellent scrolling text play-by-play that captures the excitement of the game in a manner reminiscent of a radio broadcast. The commentary isn't nearly as scintillating as a top-level TV sportscaster's, but it's still a compelling experience.

In many ways, this serves as the perfect summary of iOOTP Baseball 2013. It's not as exciting as other baseball-management games, but if you enjoy digging deep into statistics and aren't afraid to use your imagination, it's a gem of a game.

iOOTP Baseball 2013

Fans of the scrolling-text style of iOOTP Baseball will be in their element in this edition. And while the gameplay itself remains familiar and unchanged, it may not prove quite compelling enough for all but the most ardent slugger fans