Winnie the Pooh’s Home Run Derby is a 2008 children’s flash baseball game with a simple idea, although that is the only simple thing about it. The game became sort of a meme around 2013, when people started to talk about it in websites such as Reddit and 4chan. The reason for that to happen – the game is ridiculously hard to complete even for an adult.
In the game you – as Winnie the Pooh, assuming the role of batter – play against other characters of Hundred Acre Woods adopting the role of a pitcher. If you can score enough home runs, you advance to the next level where there is a new character waiting for you with more difficult pitching style. The number of home runs to achieve is also increased with every level.
After playing for a while you start to realize why so many people hate this game. There are multiple possibilities for the batting to go wrong. Your hit might not make the ball fly far enough. It can also bat it away from the field for foul or just miss the ball entirely. The pitching techniques of the different characters are irritating in many ways and they are changing throughout the attempt to make it almost impossible to predict the ball.
Gameplay-wise, it is not very smooth to control where you want Pooh to be. You are also left wondering which part of your bat you should hit the ball with to gain a home run. The game offers no tips for this, except a green dot in the bat. Despite this, aiming with the green dot won’t work – trust me. There is a small “How to Play” section in the main menu that answered none of my questions.
You can try the levels as many times as you like, but there is no way to retry mid-level them, if you have failed to gain enough home runs before running out of balls to complete the level. All you are left to do is bat the rest of the balls in anger knowing that you can’t achieve your goal.
There is a possibility to boost Pooh’s abilities for better batting. You gain points by playing the levels to increase power, contact and speed. No further explanations to these abilities are presented and they really don’t seem to do that much for your batting. After playing for hours I was nowhere near of getting my abilities to their maximum levels.
As an adult player, the game makes you hate the characters you once loved as a child. I can’t recommend this game for fun to anyone and especially not for children who this game is apparently targeted for. If you want to have something to do with your friends and make yourself miserable at the same time, then I guess this is the game for you. The people who made this game either forgot to test play it or they have no clue what the difficulty level for children’s games is supposed to be.
Images: Screenshots from the gameplay
Publisher: The Walt Disney Company
Developer: The Walt Disney Company
Release date: 2008
Genres: Children’s game