Review of Home Run Challenge on XBLIG: Pass
Avatars step up to bat, and not much else.
Home Run Challenge is one among many avatar games on Xbox Live Indie Games. In the game, the player’s avatar steps up to the plate and swings at pitches from a computer controlled avatar. The problem with Home Run Challenge is that’s the entire game.
The game controls are as simple as the game, using only the A button to swing. Hits are directed by timing the swing; there are no controls for stance or swing style. After a few swings targets will appear in the stands that can be hit for points, and the Jumbotron can be hit for additional points as well. If five home runs are hit in a row, a special bonus bat appears that gives additional points as long as the streak is alive. The game ends when five strikes are reached.
The only difference between the trial version and the full game is the addition of a leaderboard. This is a peer to peer leaderboard that requires other gamers playing at the same time for high scores to be transferred. This isn’t the fault of the developer; Microsoft doesn’t allow Indie Games to have true leaderboards. The addition of a leaderboard however is hardly a justification to unlock the full version of the game.
While the game has little to it, that is not to say it’s executed poorly. The graphics are polished and the menus are well designed. The bat makes a satisfying “crack” when hitting the ball, and the way the camera follows the ball after a hit is pretty cool. The avatar animations are well done in both swinging and celebrations.
Home Run Challenge is a Pass. Though the game is highly polished, the polish doesn’t make up for the lack of content. Even if you are interested in checking out this mini game, there is little reason to purchase the full version.
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