Product Review: iOOTP

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in

For a few years now, Out of the Park Baseball has killed, many, many hours for me. Which is to say that I have had lots of fun playing the game! Unfornately, my computer doesn't travel well, and my laptop died a few years ago. Having an OOTP game for my iPhone would a great way for me to get my fix when I'm not at home (it's ideal for travelling on a plane, for example).

Thankfully, OOTP has done that - it's called iOOTP, and the company was kind enough to let me review a copy.

While the PC version of Out of the Park comes with every historical MLB season, the limitations of the iPhone mean that iOOTP comes with only three historical seasons: 1923, 1965 and 2004. However, 1965 just happened to be a very good year for one Mr. Sandy Koufax, so of course I had to play that one. Once I loaded it up and selected the Dodgers, I saw that Koufax was scheduled to pitch on Opening Day against the Mets (as you'd expect). The result? A two-hit complete game shutout, with 13 strikeouts! That hooked me. I had to play the entire 1965 season.

One thing I didn't like, from a historical perspective, is that historical seasons such as 1965 are played with the current contract rules, such as free agency. This obviously didn't exist back then. In the desktop version of OOTP, you can choose what free agency rules to use. In the smaller iPhone version, this option was clearly left out to conserve memory and space. An understandable decision, but it seems to me it would have made more sense to program the game with the actual rules in the historical seasons.

One final word about the historical seasons - if the three that are offered aren't your cup of tea, you can now purchased more seasons, and you don't have to go to the iTunes store to do it. The latest upgrade of iOOTP allows for you to purchase bonus historical seasons in-app. They come in theme packages and are being released as they are completed.

My verdict:  I look at iOOTP the same way as I do the Football Manager Handheld application for the iPhone - it's not as good as "big brother", but it's an acceptable substitute. Am I going to play this game for hours at a time? Probably not. Is it a good way to kill an half-hour or so? Certainly.

My grade: B (a solid achiever, very good at what it does, but low customisability, mostly due to the limits of the iPhone platform, keeps it from superstar status)

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