NOT MANY people play baseball outside the States, but to judge from the fervour accorded the game there, it must be exciting. Imagine, newly resurrected under the paternal eye of Ocean's David Ward, has brought out a simulation as its first release with the new regime.
The name imagine gives rise to all sorts of suspicions, but we were gratified to see that World Series Baseball is not at all bad. You can play the computer or a friend, and the screen shows a representation of the baseball diamond with crowds and a giant screen for advertising and scores.
With loving attention to baseball hype, the game opens with the American national anthem and cheerleaders. Then the stick-like figures of the teams come onto the pitch. Control is simple enough. If you are batting you can use the joystick to adjust the strength and lift of your swing, and to hit the ball.
The pitching team may set a close or open field, and then adjust the speed and direction of the pitched ball while in flight. Control is then passed to the fielder nearest the ball, and the race is on to see if the ball can be brought to a base before the batsman reaches it.
The scoreboard adds to the realism by showing genuine advertisements and humorous announcements in between innings, although the wait could become irritating if you have read them all before. Nevertheless, the game is fun and apparently realistic. Welcome back, Imagine. Keep up the good work.
Publisher: Imagine (1984)
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair, Cursor