iPhone Dodgeball & Kickball Appz


Danger! Dodgeball

Some obscure sports translate well to iPhone apps – beer pong saturates the market, and most of the games based on that sport are relatively good – but there hasn’t been a real knockout dodgeball game.  Well, Danger! Dodgeball is still not a slam dunk.

Using the iPhone’s advanced accelerometer, the app pits you against a formidable opponent inside a gym.  Using the iPhone as a whole, you can dodge thrown balls by tilting the phone to the left and right with varying degrees of speed to effectively miss being hit.  Sliding your finger across the screen vertically throws the ball, as you try to hit your adversary who is continually moving horizontally at a steady pace.  Power ups can be collected, including the ability to throw an oversized dodgeball and three balls at a time, adding a more cartoonish nature to the already childish game.

While the mechanics of the game are solid – the accelerometer is fairly accurate and a fine controller – and the graphics are sharp on the screen, the app is weighed down by its monotonous nature and lack of multiplay.  The game seems like a good start but it does seem like an application that was a great idea that just fizzled.  The technology is there, but it feels like an unfinished product, even with its $0.99 price tag.

2 1/2 out of 5


iScore Baseball/iRef-Kickball

Made by Faster Than Monkeys for ESPN, iScore Baseball is a statistics program designed for baseball coaches to track their players through their iPhones.  Taking the place of scoring books, with their pages filled with lines and filled in diamonds, iScore literally puts everything you could possibly need for management at your fingertips.  While it is made especially for use in baseball leagues, a few tweaks can make it useful for the more tech-savvy league operator.

The mechanics of balls and strikes are there, but it wouldn’t be an ESPN app if it didn’t take it a step further.  Nearly all possibilities are covered in this excellently produced program – pitch location, batting spray charts, passed balls – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Managing the statistics of several teams is supported and getting the information to your computer is made simple – the app allows for exporting the games through email in several different formats.  Adding even more layers to this great application, you can also broadcast the game live through iScorecast, allowing members of your league to enjoy the ongoing battle online through their web browsers.

While knowledge of a scorebook can help with interpretation of the stats, one of the bigger selling points is that you don’t have to know much about scorebooking with its intuitive interface.  With a little ingenuity and modification, iScore can be a game-changer for the most serious of commissioners.  Expanding statistics from simple hits and zeroes to more in-depth metrics could make a league seem more serious to its loyal participants.  Loyalty equals dollars, and this ten-dollar app could help you retain bundles.

What iScore lacks, iRef-Kickball makes up in specificity.  Sometimes a program as all-encompassing as iScore can be a little too much, and that’s where iRef-Kickball takes advantage.  Made with the game in mind, iRef has a real stripped down interface and is truly aimed at the field monitors of stat-based leagues.  Following the official rules of the national sports league WAKA, scorekeeping is kept relatively simple with balls, strikes, outs, and fouls.  Beyond that, iScore outperforms iRef on every other level.  The ability to log teams is not as sophisticated as ESPN’s app, as it does not individualize players instead relying on just overall team score.  The emailing functionality is not as robust either, but it was surprising that it was even included in the release.

In the end, if you are a volunteer monitor looking for an easier way to keep track of score and don’t need the bells and whistles of iScore, iRef is an adequate option at $0.99.

iScore – 5 out of 5
iRef-Kickball – 2 1/2 out of 5

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