The launch of Wannabat, the new iOS baseball game from Vitusoft, just happened and the new game has a fresh new take on baseball as a touchscreen game. Put aside your preconceptions and pick your battles—whether against one of the game’s AI-controlled opponents or against one of your own friends.
Wannabat doesn’t saddle you with the need to recruit a team, or manage one. Instead, Wannabat’s version of baseball is strictly one-on-one. With one player on each team, teams alternate batting and pitching in fast paced single-inning games where the batter’s ability to send the ball flying long distances determines the number of runs scored.
To maximize score, the player must learn to predict the pitcher’s intentions just as a batter does in the game in real life. Placing a symbolic bat overlay in the target sights, the player waits for the optimum moment to release his or her finger from the touchscreen, which triggers the swing. Slick animations accompany all of the game’s moments, but pitching far outshines batting in this regard. Setting up the pitch is similar to batting, but players will also be able to select an icon to choose their pitch as they acquire more special abilities. Each of the pitches can also be modified with deadly skills, and this is where the animation really takes off. Even the power swing and contact swing animations when batting are pretty cool, but adding the twister, illusion, or arrow deadly skills to pitches adds way more pizzazz.
The game’s animations are a big part of its appeal, but it’s not just about flashy graphics. In addition to the surprisingly satisfying challenge of perfecting pitching and batting, players have numerous options available to personalize and improve their characters. It’s the depth of customization and the ability to assign skill points, level, and really develop one’s character into a baseball battle warrior that makes Wannabat so addictive. Wannabat also consistently motivates players to progress, not only by making it possible to further improve performance as character, but by opening up even more customizations in the shop. There are three modes of play, and by following the solo campaign mode, the player finds him or herself defending turf against a variety of NPCs. As each of the AI controlled rivals is defeated, elements of their style, from gear to good looking accessories, become available in the shop. If a player prefers battling against friends in realtime, saving up battle points can also result in getting new gear at the shop. NPCs don’t just give up the goods once they’ve been beaten; they also become available in custom game mode, to be battled on the player’s whim. This collection of rivals levels as the player’s character does, so they always provide a challenge.
The game’s visual and audio aesthetics are perfect match for its addictive and pleasantly action-oriented game design, so much so that it’s hard to put Wannabat down once you get going.
Wannabat is available in both free and paid versions; the paid version provides the player with more stars (in game currency) but the free version does include the same content. Both versions are available now in the iTunes app store, and the paid version costs $0.99.