World Series Baseball - Rerelease
Copyright/Publisher: Hit Squad/Imagine, Genre: Baseball,
Release Year: 1986, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

This was one of the first titles from the new Imagine, the label set up when Ocean bought the name from the famous, but defunct Liverpool company. It was a spectacular debut, perfectly demonstrating the C64's colourful and musical advantages over the old Speccy.

After the cheerleaders have waved their poms poms about, one player stands to bat while the other (or the computer) pitches. The big stadium TV screen shows a close-up of the ball's flight, allowing the pitcher to control the ball and the batter to time his swing (or refrain from swinging if he thinks the pitch is a 'ball' (the baseball equivalent of a no ball)).

If the pitch is good and isn't struck it counts as a 'strike': three strikes and the batter's out. Hit the ball (forward of the foul lines) and you automatically run to first base, and further manually if you think you can make it. For the pitcher, control is switched to the fielder nearest the ball, who must try and throw the ball to one of the bases before a runner gets there.

Further complications are added by the ability to 'steal' bases, when runners can attempt to make it to the next base while the ball isn't near them. Once three batters have been sent back to the dug-out, the other side has their turn batting. After nine goes each, the team with the highest number of runs wins.

It's all very easy to pick up, but tough to win - especially against someone who pitches like Phil 'Screwball' King. While Hardball offers a more realistic game, WSB remains as much fun now as when it was first released. Highly recommended, and good preparation for seeing all the new baseball movies coming out now.