Windows - 1997
Description of Backyard Baseball
Home Run Park
Imagine a game where the players play for the love of the game, not the money. A game where multi-million dollar contracts are unknown. A game where everyone gets to play. Imagine a game just like it was with the youthful innocence of a child. This, my friends, is Backyard Baseball. Backyard Baseball takes you back to when you were a kid, when baseball was a game, and the team was hastily put together among the kids in the neighborhood.
Playing for Real
Humongous Entertainment reached back into the past and captured all those childhood memories of baseball and digitally assembled them into this game. All the details that make the memories real are here - from the kids taunting the pitcher to the child with the asthma inhaler. Do you remember picking teams, taking turns picking from the best players until only the bad players were left? Do you remember picking someone's little brother because his big brother was a good player? It's all here. Nothing was left out.
Players choose from fields such as the sandlot, the urban parking lot, and the rich kid's backyard. Pitchers throw crazy pitches such as the "Elevator" and the "Crazy Ball." Background ambient noises and the taunting by the opposing team add to the rich atmosphere that you can almost smell.
Everything about this game is charming and cute.
Swing and Miss
Gameplay includes all the necessary elements. Pitchers choose the pitch as well as the placement. Hitters swing at the ball and can even see the strike zone. Fielding is accomplished by clicking where you want the ball thrown, and running is as simple as clicking in the direction you want the runner to advance. Everything is here, and everything is easy enough for kids. The pace is a little slow, but not too fast for children. Each batter has a distinct personality - from the boy who hops to the plate to the girl who says "my game is really tennis, anyway" when she strikes out. I was extremely impressed with all the details of each character.
I have a few complaints about the game. This game doesn't install any files to the hard disk - everything is run from the CD. For some reason, each swing of the bat causes the CD to be read. This makes the animation choppy and the mouse click to hit feels sluggish and unresponsive. While the game is playable with this problem, it makes hitting the ball a little difficult. Instead of getting better the more balls I hit, I never really improved. I think this is because I never was able to time when I hit the mouse button and the player started their swing. That little delay when it read from the CD just ruins the hand/eye coordination.
I tried copying the entire 270MB of CD data to the hard disk to see if that improved performance (note: this is not an option in the install menu, I just copied it by dragging the contents of the CD into a new folder on my hard disk.) It did speed up the game somewhat, but the batting problem didn't improve significantly.
I also encountered one bug: I hit a ball that bounced infield, then over the fence for what should have been a double. The announcer even stated this was a double, but the runner advanced only to first.
Worthy of Praise
This game is terrific and has all the elements of a Gold Medal winner. But I can't do it. The delay in clicking the mouse and the batter swinging the ball just ruins it for me. I still like the game a lot and highly recommend it, but a Gold Medal is for games without such evident flaws. I guess I'm mad because this should have been corrected. Even a little play testing would have shown that this was a problem. Instead, we are left with what could have been a "Game of the Year," but instead fails to deliver on one very important game element.
This is still an outstanding game and I recommend it strongly.
Review By GamesDomain
Comments and reviews
Sweet Deals 2021-08-15 2 points
The "ScummVM Ready" download only has game files in it and doesn't appear to include an executable file. This means that a ScummVM emulator can recognize it but it can't be run without using the emulator shell.
You could probably run the .iso natively on most computers. I can do it on mine but I use ScummVM because I find it more convenient and it usually works well with games that are finicky about native hardware. If you're using an emulated computer (such as Windows 3.1 through DOSbox), then you should first mount the .iso to a virtual drive, run the emulator, and then mount the virtual drive as the emulator's disk drive (type mount d F:/, or whatever drive has the .iso in it).
Laserbuttonz 2021-08-14 -1 point
What if I downloaded the scummvm ready version on windows xp? Can I run it without needing scummvm? For those who don’t know windows xp is compatible with 32 bit to 16 bit
If I just extract the files and (try to) run the game will it work?
Laserbuttonz 2021-08-14 0 point
Hey sweet deals. Too bad I can’t just mount the iso file and run the files (that’s why I asked about the iso file cuz I didn’t want to use scummvm) oh well also is this website legal? (I’m pretty sure it’s a grey area but I just want to confirm it)
Sweet Deals 2021-08-14 0 point
To run an .iso of an old Humongous game, first use your virtual disk mounting software to "mount" the disk. Then, turn on ScummVM. Click "Add Game", and use the mounted virtual drive as your game directory. The ScummVM emulator should recognize the game and keep it on file for you.
I don't normally play sports games that often, but Backyard Baseball really appeals to me. I love how every kid is unique with his or her own personality. When I play this game, it's not just about playing baseball, but pretending that I have friends in my
neighborhood that I can hang out with any time I want. Even though there are exactly 15 boys and 15 girls, I find that when I choose teams I end up picking more girls than boys more often than not. I guess I have my favorites. But sometimes I go straight to the "Play Ball" option and give myself a random team full of misfits I wouldn't have otherwise chosen. I do that to prove that my great coaching can send any team to victory, even if they're not all the best kids. And then everybody plays.
Each player does have "stats", with unique strengths and weaknesses, but there's also
an element of chaos, too. I've found that in some games all my players play the game
perfectly, and in other games the fielders make lots of stupid errors, even if they're the best players. I think the programmers have secretly put in a stat that determines how well a given player might play on a certain day. I once had a season where I had to send popular favorite Pablo Sanchez into the outfield because he kept failing to catch balls, and the less-likely Jorge Garcia did an excellent job playing second base.
There's also a "spectator" mode, for when you want to run the game but are too lazy to actually play it. Then the computer will play a game against itself for you to watch.
Gus 2021-08-09 0 point
This shit is confusing to do. I wish you could just download the game and run it. No, there's a lot of other things you have to do and nobody has time for that.
Noah_BK 2020-05-23 2 points
Thank you so much for keeping this master piece alive on the internet. I used to play the hell out of this when I was younger. Feels good to relive the nostalgia again.
NoodlesLongacre 2020-04-20 2 points
ScummVM isn't seeing the files, and I can't run the ISO version on a 64-bit OS apparently. Can anyone help?
Cascadianranger 2019-02-24 20 points
For those wondering what to do after downloading, extract the files anyhwere into your C drive (even their own folder) and then add the files through ScummVM and use that to play
Catbug 2018-12-12 1 point
I agree with wonderwoman, I downloaded it but its just a zip file with a bunch of other files. What do I do now?
The Unknown 2018-05-03 -5 points
Read the FAQ dude. BTW I found Backyard Baseball 2003 4free on www.pcgamefreetop.net
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