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Apple Arcade: Hold onto your socks! It's Ballistic Baseball


Apple Arcade's been busy since its launch, with a bunch of new games. Oddly, the one that's made the most impact for me is by Gameloft, of all companies. It's a wonderfully pared-back version of a beloved sport. It's Ballistic Baseball!

Baseball, as far as Ballistic Baseball's concerned, is about two things: batting and pitching. Everything else - fielding, running the bases - is handled for you. When you're pitching, you pitch. When you're batting, you bat. That's it.

And it's pretty wonderful. Pitching sees you choosing where to put the ball, choosing which pitch to use and then getting the timing right for accuracy. Batting is equally all about positioning and swinging at the right moment. The sound effects are great with that echoing snap that defines baseball and the players are pleasantly caricatured. I love the fact that you can choose where to play, even opting for a Field of Dreams style cornfield, and I also love you can set the game length to a single inning so that you can have a game on even the shortest commute.

What really stands out, though, is the commentary. Seriously, this is wholesome stuff. Hit a home run and the game with announce, "Hold onto your socks!" Get caught out on a flyball, and the game will tell you how easy you're making things for the other team.

You can play online and against friends, but the whole thing is so brisk I quite like playing against the AI. Give me a diamond, the cool grass out of the outfield, and ten minutes to kill and I am very happy. Oh yes, and hold onto your socks.