Freeverse WWDC Roundup: Flick Baseball, Trackz, Warpgate, Grunts!

We sat down with a representative from Freeverse to check out the publisher’s upcoming lineup. We saw Flick Baseball, the newest game in the Flick Sports collection; Trackz, an app for model train enthusiasts; Warpgate, a very cool-looking space trading game; and Warpack: Grunts, an intriguing top-down shooter. Details and video after the jump!

We first reported on Flick Baseball all the way back at Macworld, when the game was still in the concept stage.

It’s grown up a lot since then. There’s now a full complement of 35 (faux) teams to choose from (we played as the Atlanta Peaches against the Los Angeles Superstars), and the gameplay’s all in place, too.

There are different timing-based touch mechanics for pitching, batting, and fielding, and they work really well, from what we could tell during our limited playtest.

When pitching, you choose a pitch (fastball, curveball, change-up, or slider) and then touch the screen when a rapidly shrinking ring matches up with a circle. Batting is a matter of holding your finger on the bottom of the screen, and then swiping upward as the ball crosses the plate. And in fielding, you must watch carefully as four glove images fly towards each other from opposite corners of the screen, touching right as they superimpose over one another.

Flick Baseball will be out in late June, probably at the $3.99-$4.99 price point.

Trackz is a little bit like Slotz Racer, only aimed at those who like to play with model trains. The train throttle is on the right-hand side of the screen, and a camera button allows free rotation around the 3D trains and landscapes.

Freeverse consulted with experts to insure that the engines and cars are all authentic models. After iPhone OS 3.0 comes out, players will get access to a “Railway Shop” for purchasing new train components.

And, of course, you will have the opportunity to arrange your own tracks–just like in Slotz. If building little worlds criss-crossed with tracks in your basement is your thing, you may like Trackz when it comes out later this month around 99 cents.

Warpgate leaves the mundane world of trains and baseball behind for a trip through the universe at the helm of a starship.

The galaxy, which is rendered in full 3D, can be zoomed in and out and rotated at will. An easy swipe motion steers your ship between planets, space stations and warpgates, which transport you from one end of the galaxy to the other.

We didn’t see much of the core gameplay, but Freeverse told us that Warpgate is a space trading game at heart, not unlike Ambrosia Software’s classic Escape Velocity.

The idea is to travel from one place to another, buying low, selling high, and negotiating the galaxy’s different factions (aliens, humans, space pirates, and so on). The money gets spent on better ships and weapons. You will also be able to buy your way straight to the top with micropayments, after 3.0 comes out.

This game still needs a lot of development (we ran into a lot of placeholder art), but we were very impressed with what Freeverse has done so far. Warpgate should be out later this month at an unspecified price.

Finally, we got a look at Warpack: Grunts, which has already been submitted to the App Store and should be out shortly.

This top-down combat game is built for fast action. You command a squad of Grunts, who march around the game’s 40 jungle levels gunning down “Ubiquitous Badly Trained Evil Chaps.” If you don’t, Evil Dude and his henchman General Issimo will take over the world! Bummer.

The Grunts follow your finger around the screen, and then shoot at whatever you tap. In addition to the standard machine gun, we tried our hand at the sniper rifle, which can cap baddies from across the level. Chucking grenades all over the place is fun, too. The little soldiers shriek and curse in tiny cartoon voices, adding to the comedic effect.

Online leaderboards rank your performance on every level and campaign-wise. Freeverse also told us that downloadable level packs may also be a possibility in the post-3.0 world.

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