Swing batta swing.
For the most part, you can't argue with free, especially when it comes to X-Baseball, Poppy's addictive iPhone and iPad title. Although it's a bit short on options, this well-designed and fun App is a great way to get your gaming fix on the go.
Here you have a classic battle between pitcher and batter. You step up to the plate and attempt to hit every pitch thrown your way. Make contact, and you earn points. Get three strikes, and the game is over.
That's essentially the gist of it, though the game's a bit more complicated. The computer will mix up pitches, unleashing fast balls one second and lobs the next. What's more, you'll face progressively difficult opponents.
On the positive side, the developers occasionally toss fruit your way, and smashing it erases one of your strikes. Unfortunately, it's easy to lose the fruit amidst the chaos. Like those balls, you need to keep an eye (or two) on it.
All of this makes X-Baseball a guilty pleasure. We love the "tap anywhere to swing" controls, and the 8-bit graphics take us back to the glory days of the NES. We dig the retro vibe.
The fact that there's online leaderboards via Game Center makes it even sweeter.
Ultimately, there's little reason to avoid X-Baseball. It's a fun and free way to pass the time that'll appeal to gamers the world over, even if they hate the sport. Download it.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.
What's Hot: Free, Game Center support, one-touch controls, cool 8-bit style graphics, universal.
What's Not: Only one mode.