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A nice entry in Micro League's short-lived "Time Out Sports" series, designed to provide bite-sized sporting entertainment for short coffee breaks between your spreadsheet or word processing. TOS Baseball is a simple and fun look at baseball via four quick, easy-to play mini games that are diverse, although some are more creative than others:
Batting Practice: a cross between Home Run Derby and the school-yard classic 500. You have 10 outs to score as many points as possible.
Fungo Fielding: My favorite game of the bunch. Here you must field multiple fly balls. The fielding coach hits the fungos at steady rate of speed for 5 balls, then speeds up for the next 5, and so on. The first 5 balls are in level 0, the second 5 represent level 1, etc. The level of play may be increased at any time, and the difficulty level (beginner, intermediate, expert) also affect the speed of hits.
Sign Calling: a fun and even educational mini-game. Here, you have to repeat the sign the coach is making - a little like "Follow the Leader". The coach will make a combination of movements, such as right ear, left ear, nose, then you repeat the sign by clicking the mouse on the same parts in the same order. The next sign he calls will have the same movements as the last call, plus one. Play progresses in numbered rounds and levels. Each sign called is called a round, and five rounds make one level. Each time a level is completed, the user obtains one mistake credit and the time allowed to repeat the sign decreases. If you run out of time before finishing a sign, or make a mistake, a mistake credit is taken away and you must retry the same sign. When your mistake credits run out, the game is over.
Umpire Arguing: a pretty fun and unique game where your job is to argue with the umpire, acting like a responsible coach :) Here, you select statements and actions to get your point across, but there's a line which you just can't cross with some people. The angrier you can make the umpire without getting ejected, the better. At the beginner level, a thermometer gauge is used to show the umpire's anger level. If the mercury reaches the very top of the gauge, you're on the way to the showers. Keep the level in the top third to rack up the points. If his internal temperature falls into the bottom third, you will start to lose points. And once the temperature reaches the bottom, the ump will get bored and leave you on the field to yell all alone. You can watch the crowd come alive when you really start dishing it out in the upper right corner of the screen. And in the left corner, you see a side view of you and the ump so you can watch the actions (like kicking dirt and pointing) take place. When you are getting the best of the umpire, you will tower over him, causing him to shake and tremble in your shadow. But if you are boring the umpire, he will lean over you in domination. A neat game, although the umpire's reactions are a bit random in my opinion.
Controls are mouse-driven, and very intuitive. Graphics are crisp in SVGA, and there are three different difficulty levels to choose from. There are even "grabbers" - computer characters who can appear once in a while to remind you to take some time off from work and play this game :) Overall, TOS Baseball is one of the most unique and innovative sports games ever made, offering a refreshing angle that unfortunately no modern developer has followed. If you like this game, check out TOS Basketball, a companion game that is also on this site. Recommended!
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Time Out Sports Baseball screenshot
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Time Out Sports Basketball, Micro League Baseball 4, Tony La Russa Baseball II, Tony La Russa's Ultimate Baseball, Out of the Park Baseball 2