Saturday, July 24, 2010

Game of the Week: Action Strategy Baseball for Macintosh

Back in what now seems like the Stone Age of the computer revolution, the early 1990s, video games were just starting to become a strong market for home computers. Of course there had been games for earlier systems, such as the Commodore 64 and TRS-80 computers, but most of those had not sported great graphics.

Unfortunately, in the early '90s there was still a lack of great graphics, though that was slowly changing.

But still, even in black and white and with sub-par graphics, there were plenty of great games that could take up your time.

One such game was Action Strategy Baseball. Written by programmer Cary Torkelson and released as shareware or freeware in the early 1990s, Action Strategy Baseball was for many Apple fans the first chance they got to play a baseball game on a Macintosh.

Yes, the game was black and white only, but many of the Macintoshes back then only had black and white screens anyway, such as the common Macintosh SE. And yes, the graphics were little more than stick figures, but that didn't matter. Why? Because the gaming action was awesome.

You got to hit and run, play the outfield and even jump up to catch balls. You could adjust your speeds and jumping abilities. One feature that was truly fantastic was you could create your own team and play against the computer or friends, and could even build up entire baseball seasons and play against a bunch of people.

Statistics were kept for each of your players, and it was always interesting to see how a player performed over time. And just like in real baseball, the batting lineup for your players was important.

Another interesting feature was the pitchers' statistics. And pitchers actually got tired the longer they were on the mound. After a pitcher had been pitching for 6 or 7 innings, his arm was tired and he couldn't pitch nearly as well as he did earlier in the game. That's when you brought out your relief pitchers. Yes, Action Strategy Baseball even allowed for changing out pitchers.

It was almost like real baseball. Just in black and white.

And it was always fun.

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