The legacy of video games named after pro athletes in their prime is a rich one, stretching back to the early days of the medium: Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!, John Elway’s Quarterback, Lee Trevino’s Fighting Golf, and more. However, the days when every pro star wore a console game bearing his name like a badge of honor have faded as the licenses for professional leagues have become greater commodities.
And for an enterprising young star like Buster Posey, the focus is on mobile. The San Francisco Giants catcher and National League’s reigning MVP has just released his new game, Buster Bash PRO, as a free download from the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store, as well as on Facebook.
"I never even considered the idea of having a mobile game until my agents approached me about it a couple of years ago," Posey tells us, but he’s a fan of the medium and of the process of seeing his game develop. "It’s been really interesting to watch the progression of the game over a short period of time."
The starting point was last year’s Buster Bash, a mobile app that allowed players to play through a career that mirrored Posey’s. "[Buster Bash] was based on the general progression of my career, and we spent a lot of time trying to make it accurate," Posey says. In the new game, the scope is a little broader. "Buster Bash PRO is different in that it takes you through several Major League cities and emphasizes the unique attributes of each."
The game uses a "flick"-style interface, which suits the tastes of Posey, who rarely has time for consoles. "Over the last few years, I’ve played more and more on my iPhone and iPad, and I really enjoy the flick games," he says. Players can compete in baseball-related challenges in the five MLB cities in the game by playing as either Buster or his softball star sister, Samantha. "In the first game, we didn’t have the option to play with a female character, so we thought it would be a fun addition," Posey says. "She’s really excited about it. I think we’ve made some great improvements with Buster Bash PRO, and I’m happy we’re still able to offer it to fans for free."
The ability to keep the game as a free download probably has a lot to do with another game-play characteristic: Players earn coins by completing challenges and defeating opponents to buy power-ups and equipment. Those power-ups are sponsored by companies like DIRECTV and Body Armor SuperDrink, and the game’s Facebook version is playable at DIRECTV’s Facebook page.