By Peter Magers on Tue, 08/21/2012
Wannabat, a newly launched game from Vitusoft, has its bases covered. This one-on-one 3D baseball game practically oozes personality, and it won’t take a sports buff to find themselves hooked on hitting homeruns.
Wannabat goes easy on sports jargon and technicalities by taking baseball out of the stadium and having the games take place in an urban neighborhood environment. The single player teams work by scoring runs based on the distance achieved when the batter hits the ball, and each game is a single three-strike inning. Players perform both the pitching and batting roles, alternately, playing against friends in real time or against Wannabat NPCs, and each type of game offers its own unique rewards.
Both pitching and batting control set ups are based around placing an overlay (of ball or bat, respectively) strategically within a set of target sights with a strategy in mind and releasing at the right moment. For pitching, ball placement is less tantamount to success than a good release; for batting, both matter in equal measure. There are also a variety of special abilities and skills to activate, and as Wannabat runs on its own clock (the converging target sights setting the timing for the pitcher, and the the pitch itself for the batter), quick thinking is also necessary. This is especially true when pitching, as there are a number of special pitching types which can be used in different combinations with different deadly skills to produce batter befuddling effects.
Between the clean interface and the perfect fusion of simplicity and strategy, you might think game design was the source of most of Wannabat’s charm. But there’s more to Wannabat than mechanics—style and substance come into play and steal the spotlight from time to time, too. The game’s customization features allow players to inject personality into their characters in a big way. From physical appearance to wardrobe to equipment, there’s plenty of unlocks that are well worth the effort. Character development is more than skin deep, too. As players level and acquire skill points, they can apply their points to up the oomph of certain skills or learn new ones. Equipment can also be leveled by playing games while wearing it, and new equipment and cosmetics (some of which offer stat boosts) are unlocked as NPCs are defeated. Rather than a selection of baseball uniforms, players can look forward to edgy hair styles, leopard print leggings, cool kicks and more.
The 3D gameplay and animations breathe life into these colorful characters, and the detailed visuals make playing this fast-paced baseball game a hit. The bonus of being able to show off and play in real time against friends to earn battle points to buy special items is the icing on the cake.
There are two versions of Wannabat available now in iTunes for download—the paid version is $1.99 (iTunes Link) and hooks the player up with a bit more in-game currency. The free version (iTunes Link) allows access to the full game but is a little stingier with the in-app budget. If you like sports apps—or even if you don’t—Wannabat is worth a look!