Inside The Park Baseball Review (PC)
It looks like the Out of the Park people have become a little bored, or they’re trying to relive their “Dungeons & Dragons” days. With the creation of “Inside the Park Baseball”, the OOTP developer are taking you away from the GM desk and into the life of a player. So does this switcharoo work?
It’s a simple game with a simple idea; you create a player and try to make his rookie baseball card as valuable as possible. Sounds easy enough, right? First, you’ll have to create your player. You can choose whether you want him to be a pitcher or hitter and then you’re given a certain amount of skill attributes to distribute between different talents. You’ll also have some personality traits to attribute points to, such as durability, clutch, and clubhouse leadership. Choosing between high school and college is also an important decision. A high schooler will take a longer time to develop but will have more upside, while someone out of college will have a head start in his development, but the same potential isn’t there. There’s a large varieties of baseball players that one can create, which adds to the allure of the game
Once you have completed the player’s creation, it’s time for your player to be drafted. Basically, you’ll just wait until you are drafted, and that is about it. After being drafted, you will start your way through the minors. On the main game screen, your player has a few options. He can go and buy sporting goods and books, go and set up a training schedule, have a few drinks at the bar, approach the GM and management, go to the ballpark, or go to your home and look at your accomplishments and equipment.
During the game, you’ll be interrupted periodically by calls from the GM. He’ll call you to tell you when you’ve been called up, sent down, or traded. The doctor will also tell you when you’ve been hurt and for how long you will be out of action. At the top of the screen, you’ll see your current statistics, as well as a health and mood meter. If your health meter is running low, try to lay off the workouts some; and drinks from the pub are always good for morale when your mood is low.
That’s about all there is to the game. How you use these tools to get your player to the top is up to the user. I would like to mention that it would be nice to be able to make demands to the team and maybe to have an agent-player relationship model somewhere in the game. In general, the gameplay is fun, but it can get a tad stale after a few seasons and becomes repetitive.
GRAPHICS AND AUDIO
This is a text-based game, what were you expecting?
Anyone will tell you that the key to a good text-based game is the user interface. A clumsy one that isn’t thought out well will turn many users off to the game. The crew for this game decided to use a map layout for its menu navigation and it looks great. It is quite easy to find your ratings, see other stats, and buy equipment with just a few clicks of the mouse. This may be one of the simplest user interfaces that I have seen.
This is a well put together game. The only drawback is that it gets repetitive after a while and will possibly lose its luster after playing a few seasons. It’s a great first effort, but I can’t call it a “must buy” title quite yet.