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Backyard Baseball 2001


for ages 5 to 12

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
Kid Appeal
Ease of Use

Backyard Baseball 2001 Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

Backyard Baseball 2001 is a big hitter designed for kids. Young cartoon-animated announcers, Sunny Days and Vinnie the Gooch, mimic typical baseball commentators with a gently amusing style while the baseball game is played. Players pick everything from team members to the positions they play. A balanced juvenile mix of neighborhood personalities and real cartoon-style baseball stars appear on the screen ready to play ball. You can make educated selections by reading brief descriptions of batting, running, and fielding skills about each 'neighborhood ' kid. The actual baseball players are easily spotted by the team logo on their cap and jersey. Click on the official card button and get all the genuine baseball card statistics on each particular star or select the player's picture to hear a few amusing comments. Backyard Baseball 2001 is played in a variety of down-home settings. Will it be Cement Gardens or Tin Can Alley today? Your choice.

There are four difficulty levels to choose from- T-ball, easy, medium, and hard. Backyard Baseball 2001 can be a two player, one player vs. computer, or totally controlled and played by the computer. There is also an option for Online playing but we did not attempt this. Players can elect to play a single game, championship, or series. Need more practice? Try batting practice with a junkyard style robot named Mr. Clanky's Pitch-O-Matic. When your team is in the field, players select the type of pitch - Big Freeze, left hook, Heat, groundball, etc. and where the pitch placement ends up. Once your team bats, competitors control the timing of the batter's swing. The team in the field can be repositioned en masse to the right, left, or further out / closer in. Additional aids include a star appearing under the player with the ball, a green circle predicting where it will land, and a blue circle directing where you want the ball thrown. A click of the mouse can make your baseball player stay on first or attempt second base. Voices chant "batter, batter, batter" softly in the background just like the real thing. Don't worry. "You kids are playing like little crazy monkeys" is as strong as it gets. Occasional crazy pitch choices, trophies, and the juice indicator denoting your team's accuracy and motivation level are little extras added to spice up the mix.

Educational Value
Well -- this program is primarily geared for entertainment. One is hard pressed to find "educational" value. We could say that it teaches basic rules and some strategy in terms of player placement and picking a good team??? One ten year old boy with no baseball experience said, "You know, I never understood baseball very well - now I do!" It's a strike, errr, I mean a stretch...

Kid Appeal
All our young reviewers (boys and girls) loved Backyard Baseball 2001! The amiable, cartoon characters did not seem to irritate the older children. The 12 and 13 years old who played this game enjoyed it as much as the 6 year olds without making any derogatory remarks about the characters being too naive.

Ease of Use / Install
Backyard Baseball 2001 was easily installed on our Windows 98, Pentium II, and Mac test machines. The game was designed to be fairly intuitive. Children can easily use and enjoy this program without adult supervision or explanation, over and over and over again. It was seriously addictive!

Best for... / Bottom-Line
Children up to 13 will probably find a lot of unsupervised pleasure in this game either by themselves or in small groups. There is nothing offensive in Backyard Baseball 2001 but don't deceive yourself into thinking there is more to it than that. It hits a solid home run (entertainment), but not a grand slam (academics and entertainment).

See SuperKids' Buyers Guide for current market prices of the PC and Mac versions of this program.

System Requirements
PC: Windows 95/98, Pentium 166 or faster 5 MB hard drive space, 16 MB RAM , 4X CD-ROM drive. .

Mac: System 7.5.3 or later, 133 MHZ PowerPC or faster, 32 MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM drive.

Reviewed on:

  • PentiumII with 64MB and 8XCD
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