What I like to do when I'm not blogging

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in

Besides collecting baseball cards, my hobbies include watching baseball games on television, reading baseball books, listening to baseball games on my iPod, long walks on the beach, and playing computer baseball games. Pretty standard stuff, really.

For the past few years, I've been absolutely hooked on Out of the Park (OOTP). Many of you may or may not be familiar with it already. For a few years, I had been looking for a strategy-based game that didn't look like it was ported over from an old DOS version, and one that allows for me to act more like a general manager than a field manager. Lots of folks think they can do better, or just as well, as Tony LaRussa or Joe Torre. But I've always compared myself to the Billy Beanes and Theo Epsteins of the baseball world.

The great thing about OOTP is that it is all things to pretty much all people. Do you want to manage the games, set lineups, pitching rotations, and calls to the bullpen and pinch hitters? Fine, you can play the game like a straight-up managerial sim. Heck, set the defenses up the way you want to. However, if you're like me and you want to build a roster and let some other poor schmuck make the decisions on the field, then fire him when things go wrong, you can do that, too. Heck, you can even channel your inner Connie Mack and take on both roles if you so desire.

Speaking of Connie Mack, are you much more interested in how things were in the good ol' days? Well, OOTP ships with every Major League season since the Dead Ball era included. When I found that out, I was very excited because it meant not having to pay extra for historical seasons. You can also play out the current season - and by current, I mean 2011, not just 2010 (you can do that one, too). Finally, you can create your own league, based on any time frame you chose and located in any cities (and countries) you want.

I've had versions of OOTP since 2008 (when I was still in teacher's college) and it's given me hundreds of hours of fun. I've played current seasons, past seasons and made-up seasons, based on how I was feeling at the time. The only problem - I was tied to my computer when playing it. Until now.

Yesterday, OOTP announced that it has released iOOTP. As you probably guessed by the name, it's for the iPhone, and the iPad. No Android version yet, unfortunately that won't be live until next year. But if you do have an iPhone (like me), you'll be freed from the tyranny of your desktop. Playing OOTP surreptitiously in meetings when I should be paying attention? This could be dangerous for me.

I know it sounds like I'm shilling for OOTP but I'm really not. I enjoy playing this game, and I'm looking forward to the iPhone version as well (although my wife, less so). I hope to get my hands on it in the near future. When I do, look for a review here on the blog.

(The screenshots are from iOOTP, not the desktop version. Those have a lot more information. VORP, anyone?)

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