Baseball was American’s pastime, but football has surpassed it. Will that still be the case in 2045? Baseball Highlights 2045 imagines a future of baseball with robots, cyborgs, and shorter games. The game started as a board game, and has now been ported to the iPad in its full form. The main game is six innings, and you’re dealt six cards with the ability to play one card per inning. Each card can determine your hitting, pitching, and runners, and it’s a back and forth strategy filled challenge. For example, you can play a card that serves up two singles, but your opponent can play a card that cancels two hits leaving you with nothing.
Baseball Highlights 2045 emphasizes quick action that still includes the fundamentals of baseball, and infuses front office strategy. One game isn’t just a round of six innings, and instead is a continuous challenge that lets you acquire free agents in between to boost up your deck of cards. Later cards can offer homeruns, multiple stolen bases, hit detergents against specific pitcher types, and more. It all comes down to playing the right cards at specific times to counteract your enemy, while trying to get the edge on what cards they might play. Each run scored is hard fought, especially as each deck of cards has greater and greater abilities.
There are two ways to play with either a solitaire mode against the AI at varying difficulties, or pass and play local multiplayer. The game is begging for online multiplayer with the inherent turn based set-up, and competitive spirit. Without it, the AI challenge can become a little repetitive after a while as each game shares similarities in tactics. You play a best of seven game series against the computer. It’s a definite strategic challenge with a compelling theme, and a lot of nuances to pick up on as you go. Every card you play has a lot of bearing on the overall game with only six cards to play, and there’s a lot of potential moves. The interface isn’t perfect for the iPad with two distinct diamonds for each player, and the constant shift between them. Also, since you always go first against the computer, it can be a bit odd to see when specific turns actually play out, versus when you play the card.
Baseball Highlights 2045 ($5.99, iPad) delivers a fresh take on baseball, and card games making it worth picking up on your iPad.