Louisville Slugger Homerun Challenge

App review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Louisville Slugger Homerun Challenge App Poster Image
Fun but flawed baseball game heavily promotes bat brand.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

The game is very easy to play as you simply swipe up anywhere on the screen for the batter to hit the ball. It's the timing that takes some practice, and may be frustrating for kids who can't quite time it. The lets you purchase in-app upgrades, such as new bats you can choose based on power, accuracy, and weight.

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Sexy Stuff
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Consumerism

Louisville Slugger and TPX are licensed brands for this baseball game. The names of specific bats are also used in the game, and players can buy new bats as in-app purchases. There is also an information screen that gives some history: "For 127 years, Louisville Slugger has been making without question the most popular bat in baseball," etc. There is a link to Slugger.com, but it is not on a main screen.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Louisville Slugger Homerun Challenge is a baseball app that promotes the Louisville Slugger bat brand, as well as Major League Baseball. The app also includes in-app purchase options for bat upgrades.

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Is it any good?

LOUISVILLE SLUGGER HOMERUN CHALLENGE is a free app, inspired by Major League Baseball's "Home Run Derby" event played prior to the All-Star Game. Controlling your batter is simple: swipe up on the screen for the hitter to swing after the ball has been pitched. If your timing is good, you'll hear the crack of the bat and watch as your ball sails out of the field; you'll also see the direction, power of the hit, and perhaps some feedback, such as a hit being too early or late. Throughout the game you'll see achievements you've unlocked -– such as five home runs in a row -– and at the end of each game you'll see your best score, longest drive, number of home runs, and longest streak.

The main drawback for this app is that it's not clear what's required to move onto the next location. The instructions say you need 1,500 TPX points to unlock the next stadium, which is different from your regular score. The game never explains what a TPX score is (located in the top-right of the screen), why it's different from your regular score, and what you need to do to raise it. On a related note, along with the Classic and Practice modes, there is also a Target mode that can be unlocked with 35,000 TPX points or by paying 99 cents as an in-app purchase. Other in-app purchases, which range from 99 cents to $1.99, might be for extra bats, landmark locations, and the ability to acquire the authentic Louisville Slugger bats of superstars. The game is fun, but flawed.

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