MLB Ballpark Empire
- Price: Free (In-game purchases available)
- Publisher: Major League Baseball Advanced Media
- Rated for Ages 4+
- App Store Rating: 4 Stars
- Generation Baseball Rating: Scroll down to see the verdict
I picked up MLB Ballpark Empire a couple weeks ago kind of excited to try out my skills at running a big league franchise…building a stadium, hiring the front office and field personnel, signing players, etc. I have to say, I really wanted to like this game. In the end, I stopped playing it after the second day. Before I tell you why, let’s go through the basics…
The game itself puts you in charge of a new major league franchise, which in and of itself is weird. I’m starting this team from scratch, my stands are made of wood, I can only seat about 5,000 fans, and yet here I am playing as the owner of the Yankees and competing against the rest of the real teams in MLB. Doesn’t make any sense. That little plot hole aside, the game mechanics are pretty typical. So typical, in fact, that you’ve probably played this game before…but with zombies taking the place of players and Pokemon catches playing the part of your front-office staff.
You start out by building your “stadium,” such as it is. Basically you’re building wooden bleachers — maybe right behind home plate and then a couple behind the dugout down each baseline. That’s where your fans will sit and enjoy the game, and, this is important, buy stuff from your concession stands, which you also have to build.
The goal, I guess, is to build a franchise that makes a ton of money and wins championships. But who knows.
You make money from ticket sales and concessions, and then can put that money back into your team by signing better players and better personnel, and also upgrading stadium facilities. If that sounds boring, it’s because it is. At least for me.
The games themselves? They aren’t games. They take about 30 seconds to 1 minute, and consist largely of the scoreboard changing to reflect the score, and the occasional on-field “action” of a player running around the bases (which never seemed to coincide with the scoreboard). I think this is mostly a bunch of pre-animated and poorly executed loops that just randomly appear.
During the time the “game” is being played, you basically spend your time clicking around the screen to tap on hot dog or soft drink icons to fill orders. Talk about drudgery. This continues until you saved enough money to upgrade your team by signing better players or a new manager, for example, or upgrading the stadium.
I never got far enough to see my stadium fully constructed with all the amenities because I couldn’t stick around. The game is THAT boring. How it got four stars, I don’t know. I guess that it would be okay for younger kids, but how many of them will care about the intricacies of player and coach’s salaries to stick it out? My guess is not many.
The GenerationBaseball Verdict
This is a somewhat short review of the App, simply because I don’t think you should waste your time with it, so why spend time making you read a long review. Our verdict…
MLB Ballpark Empire – The GenerationBaseball Review: If 0 stars is a strikeout looking on three pitches, and five stars is a sharply struck, bases-clearing triple smoked to left center, MLB Ballpark Empire comes in at a weak grounder back to the pitcher for a 1-6 fielder’s choice force out.