Flick Home Run is almost exactly what a 99 cent mobile game should be: a simple concept, executed well, that hooks you immediately and doesn’t let you free. Its core simplicity limits the potential for faults that might ruin the game, resulting in a polished, fun experience that’s easily worth investing in.
Although I’m pretty sure that the game is a simplified version of baseball, I know very little about baseball, so I might be completely wrong. Instead of a bat, you use your finger to swipe at balls as they fly across the screen. The further you hit a ball, the more points you get and the more of your life you replenish (more on that later). So, if you aim your swipe well and manage to hit the ball out of the stadium, you get a lot of points and replenish a lot of health. There are different levels of difficulty; clear all of the balls in the first ‘step’ without losing all of your health, and you’ll progress to the next step. You start off by playing a ‘minor’ challenge. If you get to the 15th step up of difficulty, you unlock the major challenge (being fairly rubbish at the game – despite having spent countless hours playing it – I’ve not managed to do this yet). There’s also a bonus ‘Moon Star’ mode, unlocked by reaching a power level of 15, in which you have to get as many points as possible from hitting just nine balls.
Your health bar decreases each time that you hit a ball and only replenishes significantly if you hit a ball a fair distance. Missing a ball completely means that your health will decrease yet further – it’s easy to lose health, but difficult to regain it. This makes the game entertainingly challenging, but can be a bit frustrating at times (finally getting to a new stage only to lose all of your health within a few balls). To make it even more challenging, there are 20 different ball types that fly through the air differently. Sometimes you aren’t able to recognise how a ball will travel through the air until right before you are about to hit it. The variety added by the different ball types keeps the game interesting, and is one of its key merits.
After each game, you earn experience and eventually level up. Each time you level up, you can add a point to either your power, contact or batting eye. If you can’t be bothered to play the game that you’ve just paid for, you can pay for boosts to your level for any of these three areas via in-app purchases. Otherwise, it takes a little too long to level up for the levelling-up system to be a proper incentive to keep replaying the game.
The game also comes with an online multiplayer mode, but I’ve not been able to try it out so I can’t comment on it.
Overall, Flick Home Run is a lovably simple game that’s hard to put down. It has basic but effective graphics, reasonable sound effects (no music during actual gameplay though) and a kick-ass core concept. You’d be silly to not download it.