Have you played Angry Birds? If so, the premise of Baseball Riot will be one that’s immediately familiar to you. The game takes clear inspiration from Rovio’s popular bird flinger, offering up a fairly straightforward physics-based puzzler.
The similarities to Angry Birds don’t end there, as this title also started life as a mobile game.
The developers behind Baseball Riot (Finnish studio 10tons), have made a noble effort to quickly port their existing library of mobile games over to the Switch — Baseball Riot marks their twelfth game available on Nintendo’s hybrid system.
It sees you take up the role of retired baseball batter Gabe Carpaccio — he’s on a mission to free his former club from the clutches of a new corporate power. This corporate owner, for some reason, is a dishonest energy drink company.
Anyway, this limited backstory isn’t very important, it only exists to set up some of the levels various settings — seeing you smash your baseballs at irate fans, cocky players, and erm, energy drink vending machines. As with many (once) mobile games, the plot is by no means a major factor.
Oh, a quick aside before I continue: Baseball Riot has the option for multiple profiles, meaning a few players can play the game and have their own save/progress. This is a nice little touch that more games should offer up.
After a few basic tutorial levels, you’re left to work your way through the full 100 on offer. Getting to grips with the game is incredibly simple, you move your reticule to where you want your ball to go, then hit it — hoping to smash your targets.
It’s here where the game shows its clear mobile lineage — the game is fully controllable via the touchscreen, meaning that you can just swipe your finger on the screen, pointing at where you want the ball to go. Although a nice option, the precision that the analog stick offers is the better way to play.
This precision aiming is important — in later levels having finer control becomes increasingly critical to your success. The levels ramp up in complexity, and if you want to 100% each level you’ll need to be knocking out all your enemies and collecting three stars. The game shows you a reticle line, this highlights the journey of your last shot — you’ll want to pay attention to this when things get harder, otherwise you’ll find yourself in a battle of frustrating trial-and-error gameplay.
Like a lot of 10tons back-catalogue, Baseball Riot is something that is best suited to short play sessions. I doubt this is something many people will want to play docked — this style of game is best suited to undocked portable play.
Although not an overly engrossing experience, on a whole this port is adequate for those spare moments you may find yourself having — you can pick this up and blast through a few levels whilst waiting for your bus.
If you liked Angry Birds and you’re a huge baseball fan this is one you’ll love. As for everyone else, it’s free to download and try on your phone, so maybe do that first to see if this is one for you.
Either way, at just a few dollars on the Switch, Baseball Riot is simple to start, offers a modest challenge in later levels, but ultimately is something you’ve seen before.