Android app 9 Innings: Pro Baseball 2011 is tough to beat

by Caitlin M. Foyt

In the game of 9 Innings: Pro Baseball 2011, you have control of every aspect of the game: pitching, batting, fielding and managing your lineup. If you're not getting enough out of the games on TV, but you don't quite want to join a league, this is a quick, on-the-go way to feel like you're part of the sport.

The game includes all the teams in the major leagues, which means you're playing as and against teams you recognize. What's especially great about this is that the game has photos and profiles of every player in the league. Just a warning: I don't closely follow baseball, so there's no way for me to know if these profiles are up to date.

In my opinion, the most fun parts of the game are the batting and pitching portions. Batting is just a matter of tapping the screen at the right moment. Pitching is slightly more difficult. It involves selecting a pitch from the screen, setting the pitch zone, and then tapping the accuracy circle that determines how on-target your throw will be.

When I started the game, I was a bit confused about how things worked. Without a helpful in-app tutorial, I had to do a lot of guessing. Once I got the hang of things, I was pretty happy with the way Nine Innings is set up. Lots of sports games are either very difficult or overly simplified. 9 Innings does a good job of finding that happy medium.

This is not the kind of game that will hold your attention for hours, but it is one that you might come back to from time to time. What's nice about 9 Innings is that everything saves when you close out of the app, so you don't have to play through an entire game in one sitting.

One huge complaint I have, though, is that you can never seem to keep a lead on your computer opponent. The gameplay can be inconsistent, with the AI making huge comebacks from a previously dismal performance. I never won a game — I would always either tie or lose to the computer.

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