The beauty of arcade gaming is simplicity. If you’re looking for an easy way to kill time and exercise your competitive streak, ESPN Arcade Baseball is an intuitive, well-designed arcade game that will help you do just that.
Designed by State of Play Games and featured in the ESPN.com free online games section, ESPN Arcade Baseball features two mini-games.
“Precision Hitter” is your standard “get the highest score” arcade platform that has the player targeting specific areas of the field as the batter. The closer you are towards the center of the target, the more points you score.
In “Bottom of the Ninth” the player is placed in the classic baseball scenario that puts baseball fans on the edge of their seats: down two runs at the bottom of the ninth inning. You have to score twice or go home a loser.
BASIC INSTRUCTIONS: At the beginning of ESPN Arcade Baseball, you’re taken to the home screen where you can select between the two modes “Precision Hitter” or “Bottom of the Ninth.” You also have a third option, “Instructions” which is a bit redundant because you’ll be taken through the instructions after selecting one of the two modes.
Once you select a mini-game, you’re given the option to customize your batter. You can choose to loosely customize your team colors, team name, your player’s skin stone, and baseball bat logo.
AT BAT: Once the pitcher winds up, an indicator will appear over the plate where the ball will be placed. You move your mouse pointer over the indicator and time the click with the balls movement. The closer the mouse pointer is to the ball, the straighter the ball will travel.
You can control how the ball will travel by moving the aim circle relative to the marker. Aim high to slice the ball, or aim low to hook the ball. Behind the pitcher, you’ll see a red grid that shows the ball’s projected direction.
Click the left mouse button to swing once the ball is pitched. Timing is key here. The better the timing, the easier it is to hit the sweet spot, which usually leads to a home run.
PRECISION HITTER MODE: In Precision Hitter mode, you have 10 chances to score as many points as possible. In order to accomplish this, you have to land the ball near the center of the target. The closer you are to the center, the more points you’ll score. You get bonus points for the ball bouncing into another portion of the target.
BOTTOM OF THE NINTH MODE: In Bottom Of The Ninth mode, you’re down two runs with three outs to go, and you’re facing a field of defenders. Once the ball hits the field of play and you have runners on base, you can click on the runner and have them move to the next base. You can strike out, pop fly out, or be thrown out.
Simultaneously frustrating at times and addicting, ESPN Arcade Baseball provides an arcade gaming experience that puts an emphasis on timing, simplicity, and fun.