RBI Baseball 14 for iOS is a throwback game to a time when sports games were simple. This remake very much dials into the basics of a classic sports game . You move the player, swing the bat, throw the ball and only need the direction controls and two buttons. Kind of.
RBI 14, like the original, has hundreds of major leaguers, but also was made by Major League Baseball so it has your favorite team too. As far as game modes go it follows early models as well. Exhibition, season (which you can select various lengths) and playoffs. No career mode, no general manager who has to balance a checkbook. Just select the mode and start. This makes it easy to start a game, even if you’re just killing time. The only mode that would really make this title better would be multiplayer. But even without it, there’s plenty of challenge. Since there are no ratings or fatigue meters, it’s real easy to let a game get away from you by leaving a pitcher in too long.
The controls of the game are simple, though I am sure a controller would be easier (cue Xbox 360 and PS3, or if you’re next gen, many hint at a May release). As far as the pitching you choose the speed, then have the ability to move the ball mid pitch to try to get that strike. The hitting is even easier. Just time the swing and make contact. Fielding is simple enough as moving your player with the joystick, and throwing by pressing the targeted base on the mini diamond on the bottom left. The base running can be a bit frustrating at times as you have to swipe your player on the mini diamond to the desired base and it’s often delayed. Base stealing however is easy with timing by simply touching the runner while waiting for the pitch.
As far as the eye candy, it’s nothing that stands out as flashy, but it doesn’t need to be since the rest of the game is a simple throwback. Players’ faces on the sub screen and batter up display help make it feel a little more modern, along with the ability to chose jerseys. Carry out certain challenges in a season and you can unlock a third jersey for the selected team. It’s little things like this that add to the game and help it sparkle.
The sounds match everything else about the game. Stadium organ music, the sound of the ball hitting the glove and the crack of the bat. The umpire calling balls and strikes as well as yelling safe or out. And of course this game wouldn’t be complete without the sound of the crowd making noise when you get a hit.
Overall this game is exactly what it wanted to be. A remake of a baseball game when games were played with fewer buttons, fewer choices and in most cases a lot of runs.
- Easy learning curve
- Exhibition option allows shorter innings for quick play
- Controls can be frustrating
- Jersey unlocks can be difficult
- No brat smell mode