Baseball and Cricket are simple games when you break them down into components. What you get is batting, pitching and fielding. Oh, and some strategy as well, but for these games we leave strategy to the unseen AI coaches. There have been countless attempts at creating games based on these three actions available. Ranging from full on simulations trying to make it seem like the real deal by having a slow pace, and hard as nails pitching to simple home run derbies where you tap a button to swing. With Big Hit Baseball and Big Cup Cricket you get a third take on the gameplay: the third person swipe. The result is a fun, easy to get into game where skill matters more than luck.
Both games are divided into three different areas, and this is clearly seen in the tutorial that is divided into three. First up we have the batting that is all a matter of timing, and determining the length and aim of a swipe. There is difference between the games when it comes to batting due to the nature of the rules. In baseball you only hit up the field whereas in cricket you can bat it in any direction to avoid getting caught. The speed, and length of the swipe determine strength and length. It is easy to get into, and really fun.
Pitching or bowling is the same in the different games. Simply swipe to set length, strength and spin. You can get some banana slowballs, or pitch wicked fastballs. As long as you focus through the pitch/bowl you can make cool spins just missing the player.
The third aspect of the game is the most simplistic in nature: fielding. As balls are hit you get to swipe to make the closest player leap to catch the ball. Once the ball is caught the player automatically takes care of it.
The AI is rather simple, but still play a decent game without making stupid mistakes. There is no tries to steal bases, or to otherwise mix things up. After a couple of matches you might find the game to be somewhat to easy, as you start to hit almost all pitches/bowls. The same goes for the pitching when you strike out batters right away. For some reason the controls still make it compelling to keep playing just for fun even when the challenge is minimal.
The strength of these games is the gameplay, and fun controls. I have played all baseball games, and quite a few cricket games for the iPhone and so far these are by far the most fun when it comes to gameplay. The content on the other hand is meagre, and the presentation is good but not the best available for the genre. Good sound effects combined with retro cartoon graphics are ok, and brings me back to an era where gameplay was more important than presentation.
Both games lack season modes, and real life players. There are only a limited number of teams available. If you are looking for a long term baseball experience Baseball Superstars 2011 from GAMEVIL is definitely a better more complete product. Achievements and leaderboards are available through Game Center, but there is no multiplayer to be found.
If you are a fan of either cricket or baseball you owe it to yourself to give the appropriate lite version a go. The controls are excellent and the gameplay is fast and fun. In the long run the limited game modes available, and lack of any kind of multiplayer hurt both games. Alongside the more long term season based games these certainly deserves a spot on your iOS device for those quick matches on the go.
Big Hit Baseball $1.99 Universal Binary
Seller: Eidos Interactive Ltd
Big Cup Cricket $1.99 Universal Binary
Seller: Eidos Interactive Ltd