Atari 2600 Friday’s #29 – Home Run
This week we bring you “one of those games that had to come up eventually”. We know not every game can be as glamorous as E.T., and at the same time there are some that are as generic as ‘random sports title’. This week is Home Run.
The Story: Baseball. As American as Apple Pie and Diabeetus.
From the Manual: “Play _HOME RUN_ just as you would play baseball.” That sentence right there is about the only thing describing the game anywhere in the manual.
From the Box: There is absolutely nothing on the back of the box. Just info stating that there are 8 game modes and you can have either 1 or 2 players.
The Game Play: The game claims it follows Baseball rules, three strikes is an out and four balls are a walk and the batter advances to first base. If the ball is hit, the outfielders can catch the ball and try to get it to first base before the batter for an out. So, you know, your goal as batter is to hit the ball and get around the bases to score a point. While as the pitching team your goal is to out the batters. The white letters on the screen translate to I – innings, O – outs, B – balls, S – strikes. So this all sounds simple right?
The Controls: As the batter, swing the bat by choosing a direction on the controller then once you hit the ball press the red button to stop at a base. As pitcher, press the red button to throw the ball then move the joystick in directions to control the ball. As an outfielder, move around with the directional pad to catch the ball. I think I will mention here that game modes 1-4 are single player and modes 5-8 are two player.
Post Review: This is a very simple game and would be much better as a two player game than it is as a single player game, I would assume. Hitting the ball is fairly easy, controlling the ball helps a little. all the running from base to base is automated. Once I got used to the controls it was fairly easy to just sit at second base which is the pitcher mound and just catch the ball near there and wait for them to run into you for a strike. However as pitcher, with practice you can always hit the ball away from there to the pitcher has to run for it leaving second wide open for you to pass on through. All in all a fairly simplified version of baseball you would expect from an early console.
The High Score: I managed to beat the PC 10-4 on my first try.