iOOTP 13 Review
In the world of text-based sims, there are two kings – Football Manager and Out of the Park Baseball (OOTP for short). While these games typically entail building your roster and setting team strategies with a computer, there is now a mobile version of OOTP available through the App store in iOS. iOOTP 2013 enables gamers to take their roster building and team strategy setting skills on the go, offering up the perfect “time killer” for any baseball fan with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
iOOTP13 features three main modes, including Major League, Fictional League, and Historical Replay. The game itself is incredibly deep, and users can further deepen their experience through in-game purchases that allow you to play various eras of baseball. Want to see how sluggers do in the dead ball era? Go for it. Want to try to assemble a dominate pitching staff in the steroid era? You’re welcome to try. With the in-game add ons, you can mimic or recreate history at your discretion.
I spent a majority of my time in the Major League game mode, starting in 2013 (with the 2013 Opening Day Rosters). iOOTP preserves a lot of the same depth present in the computer version of the game, all fitting in the palm of your hand. Unfortunately, not all is the same, as in iOOTP you do not have the ability to micromanage your minor league system. Instead, you will only be able to set one “Minor League” team, and that Minor League team never takes the field.
When advancing through the season, you can opt to play a single game, advance 1 day, or advance through the week. When choosing to play the game you are given a play-by-play simulation format that can even be slowed down to pitch-by-pitch. The commentary is very in-depth, making you feel as if you’re actually on the diamond itself, including everything from lines of stats in various situations, how the defense is lined up, and even notes about the weather and attendance.
As far as team management goes, you are given your run of the mill options in terms of free agents, contract negotiations, and trading. Trade negotiations are a definite bright spot; you are brought to a menu that lays out each participating teams strengths and weaknesses, and can offer a trade in that very menu. If it doesn’t work, the opposing manager will let you know that you will need to increase your offer, and you can do so by by selecting a button called “Make This Work Now”. This option brings up a list of players the other team would take back and accept your deal if you are desperate enough to make the move. CPU trade logic is solid, and they won’t hesitate to offer trades themselves. Come trade deadline, expect your inbox to be flooded with offers from CPU teams. Lastly, for those stat junkies out there, iOOTP features its fair share of metric stats with FIP, WAR, VORP and others all seemingly accurately calculated and displayed.
Though my thoughts on the game are largely positive, there are a few minor flaws that need to be brought to attention. The lack of a playable Spring Training is an issue, but I recognize many players will simply sim this anyways. Also, while there is a draft, there is no signing period allowing all of your picks to be instantly signed and added to your “Minor League Roster.” Speaking of which, prospects progress at a RAPID rate. For example, highly touted Cleveland Indians prospect Francisco Lindor was majors ready by August of season 1, when I felt as though it should have taken him another year to year and a half. Additionally, the CPU trade market seems far too repetitive. At one point, I was rejecting the same offer from the Cubs at least 6 times in a two week stretch. The option to “leave me alone” just isn’t there, so you’re left with a flooded inbox full of the same email. Lastly, for those of you micro-managers out there, you may be disappointed to see that there is no option in your depth chart for a defensive sub.
If you find yourself among the millions of people glued to their mobile device and happen to be a baseball fan, I would highly recommend picking up iOOTP 13. Unfortunately, only those of you fortunate enough to own an Apple product (iPod, iPad, iPhone) are able to play. Despite a few minor flaws and annoyances, this game is about as good as one could expect it to be.
For more information, please visit the iOOTP website here
To check out TSO’s own OOTP league, The Dugout, please go here