Everyone (who loves baseball) loves a home run. The excitement of a baseball launching into the stands–or even out of the park and hitting someone’s car–is palpable in ball games. Well, Flick Home Run cuts right to the chase. There’s nothing extraneous to deal with like teams or innings. Your only concern is how well you can hit the ball.
In fact, you’re the only batter, and how well you do depends on your ability to flick baseballs. Most of the gameplay takes place on a screen with a dotted line, across which balls are pitched. To hit the ball, you just swipe on the screen. The path and force of your flick determines the flight of the ball. Different pitches change the look of the ball, from the fast angry-faced red ball to the wavy submarine blue ball to the ninja gray ball with illusory companions. Most specialty pitches aren’t revealed until they cross that dotted line.
Watch out for the whale’s blow hole.
In place of rival players trying to catch your pop flies, the primary modes give you a life bar. It decreases every time you step up to bat, and takes a hit every time you miss a ball. It replenishes when you hit a dinger.
There are five modes in Flick Home Run!, though two of them will only be familiar to the dedicated players. Minor challenge, Training, and Multiplayer are the three primary modes. Training allows you to try your skills against any or all of the variety of pitches, while Minor challenge gives you the main testing grounds for these skills, with 15 steps of pitches to hit through. Multiplayer pits you against another player via GameCenter, and challenges you to fill up your a life bar before your opponent can do the same.
Congratulations! You hit the VW bus!
Major challenge and Moonstar bonus are the other modes, and they both have needlessly high unlocking requirements. Major requires beating the Minor challenge, and Moonstar requires a relatively high ability score. We found ourselves dedicating quite a bit of gameplay to unlock these modes, and we were a bit disappointed by the results. Major is just a more difficult version of Minor challenge, and Moonstar is a quirky level that gives you a limited number of balls and a sky full of heavenly bodies to hit and earn points. You can always ease their unlocking by buying ability points through in-app purchase, but noting that this game isn’t freemium, we found this to be annoying.
Ultimately, it was the difficulty in unlocking the extra modes, the shoddy tutorial full of spelling errors, and a few other shortcomings that held Flick Home Run! back from Must Have status. Regardless, the gameplay is fun enough that even non-sports fans will probably get a kick out of Flick Home Run.