Baseball Boy is an arcade styled home run sort of game where you whack a ball and try and hit it the furthest distance possible. As you gain distance, you earn credits. With those credits you can upgrade your bat and power to hit further distances and get more money for upgrades. Simple.
This review relates to Version 1.5.4
So, Baseball Boy sounds like a pretty simple, pick up and play time waster. A little bit of addictive fun. Whack a ball, upgrade, whack a ball, upgrade etc… simple is sometimes best but not in this game’s case. The biggest issue with Baseball Boy is an all to familiar problem. The ads.
Now this game is free so by all means there should be ads in the game but there is a point where a game is so littered with them that it is no longer a game. Baseball Boy sees the point, walks past it and then keeps going for a long while. Baseball Boy is brought to the market by a company called Voodoo. A quick bit of research on them shows that they aren’t really developers. Instead independent developers send in games and Voodoo publish them and market them. I think the developer of this game is called Monkeyboy.
The front page of their website, under the banner Monetization states “We will extract the maximum value from your game. We have created a complex and efficient ad mediation system. Thanks to this asset, we have multiplied our games revenue by 500%”. That is quite a telling statement really. Again, these companies have every right to earn money but play Baseball Boy and you will see the problem.
What little gameplay there is involves hitting a ball. It comes at you face on while you little fat character stands in front of the screen. Time the angle correctly with a single tap and he will swing and hit the ball. You can’t miss it but can hit it off at odd angles that reduce the distance it will travel. However well or badly you hit it, you will earn some cash. With that you can spend it on 4 different upgrade types. Power, speed, bounce and off line earnings. As you progress, the upgrades cost more so you will need to be hitting the ball further to earn more to get better upgrades.
A recent game update also added diamond collecting so as the ball flies through the air, it picks up diamonds. These can be used to unlock different characters to hit the ball with like an elf or cowboy. The final piece is that as you reach certain distance markers, you unlock different bat types. This includes everything from a baseball bat to a rubber chicken to a lightsaber.
So, playing the game is essentially tapping the screen once and therein lies the problem. Every single time you hit the ball, it makes its way across a blocky, cityscape before ending. You collect credits and then an ad auto starts. 1 button press, 10 seconds of watching the ball, then 15 to 30 seconds of ads. You can double your earnings after a hit, that requires another ad. How about a free upgrade? Watch another ad. Baseball Boy isn’t really a game. It is just a long procession of ads with short interruptions for a couple seconds of gameplay. You can pay £3 to remove ads and if you love this game, it doesn’t matter if it is worth it or not. You have to because it is unplayable otherwise.
That there is the system Voodoo have come up with, push a game and litter it with so many ads that people will pay anything just to get rid of them and be able to play. I personally would just give it a miss. There is no real gameplay, no sound, no story – 1 button to hit a ball on repeat is not worth £3 to me.
I am struggling to come up with positives. Perhaps the cartoony, block style characters and setting is alright to look at. Hitting a ball with a fish or wrench is kind of funny, I guess. Really it just lacks as a game, ads or not. To summarise, Baseball Boy is almost unplayable with the ads and not worth the cost of removing them. Save yourself the effort and try something else.
Baseball Boy (Mobile - Free to Play)