I highly recommend this game. If you are a fan of Baseball and enjoy board/card games this is really the best I have found. It focuses on the pitcher/batter battle and offers on the fly base running and fielding plays and interrupt cards that add a whole new level not found in Baseball card games. The instructions are excellent with several situational reference cards. The card stock is good, but not high premium quality but with care while dealing and shuffling they will last years of regular play. The playing board is large and is of very high quality with a good split and a well done wide hinge to keep from getting paper wear on folding. There is a "little League" rules set that can be followed for when youngsters and novices are introduced to the game of baseball.
When playing the full rules set, there really is a card and counter card for every play I have seen in real baseball. The action is fast, the pitching sequence is like playing War, the base running and defense is like poker. The game is designed for 2, but there are rules included for 4 person play. the cards are color coded for easy reference for countering the other players moves. i.e. a blue card on an offensive base running moves counter card on the defense is the same shade of blue. This makes the game friendly to the less baseball strategy knowledgeable and faster gameplay to check your hand to look for a counter. Each card has an explanation of what the card does/counters.
It comes with a double sided printed score pad that each page side is good for one game. I recommend holding on to two blanks so they can be photocopied as there is no way to purchase more score pads from the game makers website.
The only suggestion I could make to the game makers would be to include 3 "poker chips" of one color for Balls and another 2 color "poker chips" to account for strikes to easier keep track of the pitch count (in case the players leave the table mid pitching sequence for some reason).
It is not a game based on any type of statistics, so the statistic hound baseball gamers should not expect a deep game, but it is a very casual gamer friendly design.
There was a coupon for a free poster in my game that one could fill out and mail to the game maker. I did so recently and am waiting on my poster or a reply.
All in all I think Xtra Innings a game for all ages, easy to learn, to teach and will help teach basic baseball strategy from child to adult.
I gave 5 stars for every category and consider it an educational game, in more of the manner of teaching logical thinking, planning and basic mathematics.
I had to drop to 4 stars only for the card quality. If the cards had been of poker playing card stock, I would have given a 5 stars.
I would consider this game a great gift for any baseball fan young or old.http://www.amazon.com/Xtra-Innings-Action-Strategy-Basball/product-reviews/B003UN6EJ0/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_pop_hist_all?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1