Baseball Riot is the newest offering from Finnish developers 10tons. Despite the name, it is not a sports game but instead it is a physics based puzzle game. This follows 10tons earlier PS4 releases Tennis in The Face and King Oddball, both great games. Will Baseball Riot also score another hit for them or will it be a swing and a miss?
You play as Gabe Carpaccio, a former baseball player whose career is cut tragically short by a ball to the knee. He takes it in stride until he finds out that his former team has been bought out by the corrupt Explodz energy drinks. He sets off to save his former teammates, now mindless slaves to the evil energy drinks. Each level seems simple enough, you get three balls and you must knock out all enemies. Knock three people out with a single shot and you will gain an additional ball. Throughout each stage there are also stars. Collect the three stars and defeat all foes to master the level. It starts fairly easy but as the game progresses your targets grow in number and more obstacles are added. An example of an enemy would be the Explodz Scientist: they wear a special suit that must be hit twice before they are vanquished.
The game is split up into eight worlds; earn enough stars in one world to open the airport to the next. More enemies are added with each world creating a fair learning curve as you continue through your hero’s journey. The game has a quirky art style and an even quirkier sense of humor (Expect a lot of ball puns). The music is fun to listen to but the lack of variety in tracks is unfortunate. I’d love if each world had its own theme to add even more life to this already colorful game. All the elements mesh well together from the ragdoll way your foes fall as they are struck to the sound effects of the ball bouncing around the stage while the retro funkesque music plays in the background.
I had a lot of fun with Baseball Riot and enjoyed my time spent within its weird world. The stages are short but can be challenging and it is easy to get absorbed wanting to play one more level, one more world. My only other complaint would be that compared to its predecessors, Tennis in the Face and King Oddball, it looks like it lacks the bonus content that the other two games were packed with. The earlier games had secret worlds and challenge levels that you could unlock while playing the game. Unless I missed something this game stays pretty straightforward. It is possible that there is more hidden within the game because even though I beat the game and got all the achievements, I did not get three stars in all of the levels.
I highly recommend also grabbing Tennis in the Face and King Oddball. Baseball Riot is a fine followup despite the lack of bonus content and I look forward to the next balling experience from the 10tons team.
Score: 8 = A great game, not GOTY great but something memorable and fun that makes you want more.