Review: iOOTP 2014, by Out of the Park Developments (universal binary)
iOOTP 2014, by Out of the Park Developments (universal binary)
• Full featured baseball simulation
• Interface could use some work
• Some added features would be nice
iOOTP 2014 is a baseball simulation game that allows you to manage all aspects of a baseball team – from the general managing of a team to the in-game strategy to help you win. You can choose what aspect you control, or you can take complete change of a team from top to bottom. It is based on the Out of the Park baseball simulation games developed for personal computers.
Figure 1. The managerial menu presents you with many options.
When you start, you can choose to play with the MLB, develop a fictional league, or use some historical teams (note, historical teams can be purchased as an in-app purchase, for $0.99 each. While I did not buy any historical teams, it would be nice if you could mix and match different teams from different eras (this may be a feature that is available, but I didn’t see any indication of it). If you choose a real league, then you start with the 2014 season, either as is, or have a draft. If you choose a fictional league, you can the number of divisions and teams.
Figure 2. Owner information, such as budget and fan loyalty, can be very important.
When you start to play, all aspects of the players and game are simulated. Fan loyalty, fan interest, market size, and player salary demands are some of the things you may need to worry about at the GM level. With individual players, you have ratings for a huge variety of characteristics – ranging from pitch velocity, batting average for balls in play (BABIP), hitting for power, and “stuff” (for pitcher). You can look at minor details like the ability to bunt for a hit, morale, local or national popularity of a player, injury history, splits versus lefties and righties, groundball %, and the list goes on. Suffice to say, at a player level, there is a LOT of detail given.
Figure 3. Depth charts are one of the many things you can manage as a day by day manager, including strategy, pitching rotation, and lineups.
When you play, you can choose to have the game manage certain features or you can control them. You can have the app simulate a game while you can set things like your teams proclivity for bunting, stealing bases, using the hit and run, and other strategy decisions. You can choose when to replace a tiring picture, or you can just have the game do it all, and you look at the box score. The only thing you really can’t do is actually play the game itself.
I generally prefer the more “GM” style of game play, and won’t really simulate each game. Instead I try to manage the team, sign players, make trades, etc. I allow the app to play the game simulations (which you have the option of watching as if you are listening to a radio announcer give a pitch by pitch account of the game). If you don’t want to do the GMing side, you can always have the game choose to set up your team, while you manage the in game strategy.
Figure 4. When playing, you can choose to watch the games, play by play.
The game can be time consuming and addicting. There is one league I developed where I have simulated over 300 years of baseball. While the simulation is generally dead on, there are times when odd things happen (such as when I have a pitcher win the triple crown, but he wasn’t selected as a Cy Young award winner). There are also times I wish I had a little more ability to control something – sometimes I want to force the team to use a certain player, but I can’t “lock” that player into a specific role. But all in all, it is fairly realistic.
And yes, you can cheat. While you can’t adjust your income, fan loyalty, or market size, you can use the editor to adjust players potential and actual ratings, as well as adjusting their salary, if they are under contact, etc. So you can choose to keep players that you normally can’t afford, increase the ability of players you can afford, or a combination of both of those. The temptation is there, and I will admit that I have, on occasional, increase a players rating or something a little bit.
Figure 5. Player stats are detailed, and can be edited if you want to cheat.
The only thing that isn’t included in the simulation that I would like would be other financial aspects of the game. Maybe I want to devote more money to scouting, so my scouting reports are more accurate. Or if I want to improve the ballpark to increase attendance. Or have more “fan appreciation days” to increase fan loyalty. Those would be fun to include, especially if you are more interested in the GM side of the game like I am.
All in all, iOOTP 2014 is an accurate, addicting baseball simulation game. If you like this sort of game, the replay value is extremely high, since no two seasons are the same. I wish they had a value pack to purchase older seasons rather than selling them at $0.99 each, and I wish they had some additional options for the GM side of the simulation, but as baseball sims go, this is one of the top. At $1.99 for the 2014 season (universal binary), the price can’t be beat. Four out of five stars.
* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks
Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating. Please comment on these reviews. All opinions expressed in this review are precisely that – opinions. You may agree or disagree. If you own the app, tell me what your opinion is. If the review prompted you to buy (or not buy) the app, let me know why. If you want more information about the app, go ahead and ask.