App Reviewed on: iPhone XR
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Another game from hap Inc. is here, and this time it’s a baseball game. Home Runtaro follows the same format of games like Hidden My Game by Mom and Mr Success, and it’s successful because it focuses more on being zany and less on trying to be too puzzling.
Home Runtaro is essentially a home run derby game mixed with a puzzler. You play as a batter, and your job is to hit home runs against a variety of pitchers. Your first opponent is simple enough: a normal, human pitcher. But from here, things get pretty wild.
Cats, birds, ninjas, Santa Claus, and even the Statue of Liberty throw pitches your way at some point in Home Runtaro, and you have to time your swings perfectly to hit a specific amount of home runs to pass the level. These pitchers all have their own tricks up their sleeves, and you have to learn and adjust to all of them in order to make progress.
Rewards your time
Home Runtaro’s structure is not too unlike any of hap Inc.’s other titles. You take on one level at a time, and you have to pass it to proceed. If you fail on a level a few times, you can also opt to watch an ad to skip it.
The fun in Home Runtaro comes from trying to master the swing timing and other tricks of each level. Thankfully, there is hardly ever a time when it’s unclear what you’re supposed to do to move forward. In this way, Home Runtaro avoids creating moments of frustration that are present in their other games like Mr Success.
A good sport
There’s not much to hold you back from playing Home Runtaro. The game is completely free (though it is ad-supported), and it's really easy to pick up and learn. The only reason I might not recommend someone try this game is if they don’t appreciate the absurdity of other hap Inc. releases.
Although Home Runtaro sidesteps some of the problems of other hap Inc. releases, there isn’t anything particularly new about the game’s style or presentation. That doesn’t make it any less fun to discover that your next pitcher is a clam or some onminous clouds, but if that sense of discovery doesn't appeal to you, I'm not sure Home Runtaro is the game for you.
The bottom line
Out of hap Inc. games I’ve played, Home Runtaro is one of the more enjoyable experiences I’ve had. It maintains the bizarrely funny style present throughout these titles, but also contains levels that present their challenges plainly. You’re never lost as to what to do, which helps you enjoy seeing all of the sight gags and other antics that make Home Runtaro worth playing.