One of the best sports games ever made, Earl Weaver Baseball is a revolutionary baseball game that introduces numerous features that are far more advanced than most contemporary games, including multiple camera angles, lifelike animations, and TV style presentations. |
Despite being more than a decade old, EWB still commands a loyal following among baseball fans due to its unmatched configurability and addictive gameplay.
EWB was the first baseball game (and among the first games of any genre) that allows a truly staggering number of customization options. You could edit the team any way you want — design a power hitter that your lineup is lacking, for example. Or edit entire leagues, divisions, team names, and uniform colors. You can even fire the whole team if you feel like to. You can choose any length for seasons, although unfortunately automatic playoff modes are not available. Players from different eras can compete on the same match, and ballparks from different eras are not only available but you can edit them using an easy-to-use ballpark editor. The ball physics are reasonably accurate, taking into account variables such as wind and playing on AstroTurf. Helpful advice from the great manager Earl Weaver is easily accessible from within the game.
EWB offers several levels of play, depending on how "hands-on" you want to be. There are also four levels of difficulty: major league, minor league, semi-pro, and sandlot, the first of which provides a real challenge for pro gamers. As if solid gameplay wasn't enough, designer Eddie Dombrower went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that the game is as pretty to look at as it is fun to play. The graphics are outstanding for the time—including some of the best EGA graphics I have ever seen—and there are even digital crowd noises (although pretty awful compared to the Amiga version).
Perhaps the best proof of how EWB's sheer playability stands the test of time is the fact that there are leagues on the Internet that have been running for almost a decade, if not more. Electronic Arts itself made several data disks for the game until about 1991 or so – nearly 5 years after its original release. Anyone with spare time can also create his/her own data disks, thanks to the game's robust configurability described earlier. In short, EWB offers some of the best playability and features never seen since in a baseball game. If you have even a slight interest in baseball, Earl Weaver Baseball is simply a must-have. Check out EWB 2 and designer Eddie Dombrower's newest baseball sim, I Got It Baseball, from the related link below (although it appears he's stopped working on the game already). Two thumbs up, way up!
Reviewed by: Underdogs