Your Sinclair

Cricket Captain

Author: James Leach
Publisher: D&H Games
Machine: Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Your Sinclair #67

Cricket Captain

Cricket is the ideal sport for lazy people. Just think about it - you get paid to stand around in the middle of a field for a few hours, getting a suntan and occasionally having to jog after a ball that gently rolls in your general direction. What a life! Every so often you have to make a bit of an effort and do some batting or bowling (or shouting "Howzat!"), but for the most part it's pure loafing heaven.

So what better game to convert onto your Speccy, eh? All you need to do is get an extension cable, go outside, then play this game in a suitable field - you ca enjoy all the excitement as if it was the real thing. Hurrah!

Summer Night's Cricket

And with a summer (of sorts) upon us, D&H Games thought a cricket game might be just the ticket. Better still, they decided to go for one with graphics (of other sorts). But hold on! Before I go any further I should point out that cricket and strategy games are, for many people, the 2 most boring things on the surface of this planet (so if you fall into that category then you'd better not read any further because you might die of utter tedium).

Cricket Captain

Right. Now I've only got the interested people left,. Gather round. In Cricket Captain, you are (guess what?) the captain and manager of a cricket team. This consists of looking down on the pitch, with very small blobs representing the peeps involved. If your team is batting you just have to sit and watch as the bowlers chuck spinners at your guys. A line is then drawn from the bowler to the batsman, with another line showing where he hits the ball. If it goes through a fielder, you're caught. And if it reaches the edge of the pitch it's 4 runs. Easy-peasy stuff, but if you're a cricket fan you could get hooked.

D&H have speeded up the action (phew!) so while every important shot is shown, the boring ones aren't, so the overs tend to zip by very quickly. It's a sort of highlights-only system. What it means is that a full Test Match takes about a quarter of an hour to play. During this time you can change your batting order and your bowlers, and also move the fielders around.

What is impressive is the accuracy of the programming. It includes all the possible ways of being out, dozens of different shots to play and even silly things like dropping the ball when it should be a safe catch. And the way the runs are scored is also very similar to the real thing, so when your best batsmen approach their centuries [Isn't that a bit old? - Ed] you'll get more and more excited until you let rip with a huge 'Hurrah!" when they make it.

All Aboard (Cricket) Captain!

So really, Cricket Captain is for cricket fans only. Surprise surprise. It has the disadvantage of making you sit there with nothing to do for long periods, but if you watch cricket on the telly you'll be used to this kind of thing anyway (yawn).

There are 2 tournaments, as well as league matches and all the usual management-sim options that you'd expect from a D&H game (buying players, training, swopping, spying, bribing, you know the stuff).

So it's not all sitting there twiddling your thumbs - but a lot of it is. All in all, it's not that different from the real thing. If I were you I'd stand up, strap on your pads and go out and do exactly the same but in the sunshine instead.

If you like management sim and cricket, this might 'bowl' you 'over', but the appeal is limited.

James Leach

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