Category: Cricket computer games | reviews, previews and downloads | PC, Xbox 360, PS2, PS3, Wii (page 2 of 4)

All Out Cricket fantasy game for England v India series

If you don’t already know, All Out Cricket magazine do a fantasy league thing. We’ve entered and set up a mini league. If you want to join and compete against us, it’s called The Kingdom and the not-so-secret key to gain access is ‘Rob Key’. Our team’s called The Courtiers.

The deadline for entry’s 10.30am on the morning of the first Test, which is tomorrow. Apologies if you miss out, but we only just registered ourself.

Update: It would be good if you could identify which team is yours in the comments as well. Or just pick a team name which makes it obvious. Or remain anonymous – that’s fine too.

Don Bradman Cricket 14 review | Xbox 360 and PS3

Don Bradman Cricket 14 - much better than the first 13 editions

Buy Don Bradman Cricket 14 from Amazon

No, you haven’t missed 13 iterations of this game. That 14’s the year. Quite why the year’s relevant when the game’s named after a guy who died 13 years ago is beyond us, but there you go.

Why Don Bradman?

It’s unusual to name a game after someone other than a current player, but the Don’s name has a bit of clout. His is also the only name you’ll recognise within any of the teams, although there’s a bit of a workaround there. When you start the game, you have the option to download ‘community’ players and teams which have supposedly been created by other users.

The downside of this is that the developers didn’t feel the need to create approximations of known players. One of our favourite aspects of these sorts of games is the chance to play as Shaun Whiston or Kelvin Petersong. Ah well. Maybe someone in the community will create them for us.

Any good?

Yes. Don Bradman Cricket 14 is the best cricket game we’ve played. It’s not perfect, but none of its flaws or bugs are so great that they undermine things and there’s much to enjoy.

We’ve put more info about the mechanics of batting and bowling on other pages to keep this review from getting too long, but suffice to say that both work pretty well – even if the former demands some rather complex manoeuvres with the controller.

Genuinely one of the harder shots to play in this game

The balance between bat and ball

Every cricket game ever has fallen down in this regard. You might be hitting every ball for six, struggling to lay bat on ball or bowling sides out for single figure scores. When the balance is wrong, it takes you out of the moment and at best this makes the game far less absorbing; at worst, it turns it into a joke.

In Don Bradman 14, batting is harder than bowling, but not ludicrously so. It’s possible to make runs, you tend to make them at a fairly plausible rate and we reckon it could become easier should the complex controls ever become second-nature (they aren’t for us). Bowling is a bit easier, but you still have to work for your wickets, trying different things out to see what works in the conditions.

Career mode

We spent most of our review of International Cricket 2010 going on about how there should have been a career mode. Perhaps the developers of Don Bradman Cricket 14 read it, because this game has one and there are two huge, huge advantages of that.

Firstly, you don’t get bored of having to play an innings. Real batsmen play one innings and that demands rather a lot of concentration, so why should gamers have to play as all 11 batsmen?

The second advantage relates to the aforementioned balance between bat and ball. If you’re shit at batting but ace at bowling, you don’t end up successfully defending double digit totals in 50 over games in some unrealistic world where every team’s populated by 11 Curtly Ambroses. No, the scores remain realistic because you only control one player’s contribution. If you’re shit at batting but ace at bowling, your team’s results remain credible and you simply bat at number 11. You also get to face different match situations, which adds even more depth to the game.

If there’s a downside, it’s that poor batting can lead to career mode becoming ‘bowling career mode’. Get a first-baller and you’ll probably want to go and spend some time in the nets having forgotten how to lay bat on ball. That said, it’s funny how tense you’ll feel when you do next come to the crease. It’ll make you think differently about batsmen enduring a poor run of form, we guarantee it.

Worth buying?

Yeah, we’d say so. You can buy it from Amazon or any of the other places where people usually buy these things.

If you’re in two minds, you can read about batting and bowling in more detail via the links below:

Ashes Cricket 2013 looks jeffing amazing

At least it does if you’re a connoisseur of games which have really bad bugs. We once spent an entire afternoon trying to get a game to reproduce the caption “Docking completercycle”. As such, this looks magic to our eyes.

They should rename it “Stuart Broad v The Netherlands Simulator”.

This video’s our favourite. As well as one of the batsmen overtaking the other, watch out for the ominous umpire. What will happen when he makes contact with the fielder near the stumps? The slow build-up’s everything here.

Ashes Cricket 2013 videogame preview

There’s always an Ashes cash-in game. The latest is somewhat unsurprisingly titled Ashes Cricket 2013.

Only it’s not out yet.

As far as we can tell, they decided they’d make the game from scratch, rather than doing the usual thing of updating the database and recording three more lines of commentary for the previous version. As a consequence, it isn’t finished. They’ve basically said that they could have released it, but after giving it a quick go, it turned out to be rubbish. That’s unusually considerate of them and fortunately the 2013/14 Ashes provides a second deadline, so maybe something will appear then.

Sadly, there is further bad news in that the game will feature official licensed Australian and English cricket teams, so there won’t be any amusing near-miss names. No Shaun Whiston. No Bert Jackson. No Jenny Bristow. No Kelvin Pieterswoggle.

The best players for a fantasy IPL team

We selected a fantasy IPL team on Cricinfo and were about to set up a league so that people could compete against us when we suddenly thought: ‘No, wait, this is bollocks.’

Do you want to know who the best players are for a Cricinfo fantasy IPL team? It’s whoever happens to be playing today. That’s the game.

You have a ridiculous number of transfers open to you, so the game is basically just to go into your account daily to transfer players. It’s not about picking guys you think will perform well; it’s about staying on top of things. It’s about checking the fixture list and ensuring you have the maximum number of players appearing each day.

You know you’re having a bad week when you’re this angry about the rules of a fantasy IPL game. You might say we should get some perspective, but that isn’t the problem. This isn’t what we’re annoyed about. This is just overspill.

Cricket management games – a must for administrators

It’s December the 24th and we’re feeling festive, so we’re going to write about everyone’s favourite pastime – administration.

In short, we have a demand: all potential cricket administrators should be forced to play four seasons on a cricket management game before they can be considered for any job.

We reached this conclusion after downloading a trial copy of the latest version of what was originally Marcus Trescothick’s Cricket Coach last night. We started a new game, decided to be England and were immediately confronted with a World Twenty20. This caused us to sigh wearily.

This always happens in cricket management games (International Cricket Captain is the other). Basically, the games suffer not because of how they are made, but because of what they are trying to simulate. Turns out managing an international cricket team is REALLY BORING, because you’re forever competing in some no-mark tournament or tri-series that you don’t give a toss about.

If cricket administrators had to play through the repetitive formulaic shenanigans of a five-match one-day tour of India – picking pretty much the same bloody team again and again and adopting the same bloody tactics match after match – they would know not to schedule two such series within the space of 12 months.

When it comes to measuring the sporting value of a fixture, the ‘skip match’ option is a very accurate barometer.

Happy Christmas to those of you who live in a country where that’s meaningful. Have an equally Happy December 25th, the rest of you.

Stick Cricket now available on Android

Remember when androids were interesting?

Not as good as android cricket now being available on a stick.

Yes, that’s right, today’s entire King Cricket offering is a limp one line joke based around our love of robots and our luddite attitude to mobile phones.

We haven’t even explained what Stick Cricket is or included a link. That’s how lazy we are.

International Cricket 2010 game review | PS3, Xbox 360

International Cricket Captain 2010 screenshot

International Cricket 2010 is a rubbish name, but it’s a great game.


The batting in Ashes Cricket 2009, the last version of this game, was excellent. It’s now slightly better with greater control of each shot’s power. If you don’t try and knock the leather off the ball, you’ve less chance of getting out.

You work your way into the game taking singles, before unleashing drives and pulls when you’re well-set. Specialist batsmen are less likely to edge or miss as well, so you’ll find yourself marshalling the tail. These developments make batting more tactical. They make it better.


The bowling was decent in Ashes Cricket, but not great. It’s far better now. The huge leap forward is in the fact that the opposition batsmen don’t suddenly think they’re in a Twenty20 match after eight overs (unless they are). It seems all the more realistic for that.

You find you really have to work for your wickets too. You can’t just keep bowling full balls, because the batsmen seem to get wise to it. You actually have to set the batsman up, trying different ploys to get the better of him.

How about a career mode?

Our one reservation is that playing  a Test match is pretty arduous. The tactical side of things is great, but you quite simply can’t be bothered playing as all 11 batsmen. It’s fun for a bit, but after half an hour, you really want a bowl, so you skip the innings.

Why do you have to play as every player? The game would be infinitely more engrossing if you had just one player under your control.

What would that mean?

First of all, your player could develop over time, giving the game a narrative and keeping you hooked. Early in your career, you would bat down the order and get a few overs and then according to how you performed and how you chose to train your player, you might get more responsibility.

Having one player would make each match a more manageable size, as you’d only play the parts you were involved in. It would also mean that you encountered different situations. Maybe you’d come in to bat needing to score at five an over; maybe you’d need to bat time. Maybe you’d come on to bowl needing to take a wicket or maybe you’d need to keep the runs down.


Training would be a great addition. Your player’s batting would be poor at first and you’d struggle to middle the ball, but as you progressed, he’d get better and you could start playing more shots and longer innings. As a bowler, you’d get fitter, more accurate and maybe quicker. You’d also learn new skills or refine existing ones: doosras, googlies, swing, reverse swing.

All of this would make a game more absorbing and it would give the player a reason to keep playing. We’ll settle for five per cent of all profits if someone makes this game. Ta.

Until then, International Cricket 2010 is about as good as you’re going to get. Buy it from Amazon.

Freddie Flintoff’s Powerplay Cricket – press release timing failure

“Play as Freddie Flintoff and become an integral player for England in this fast moving, high scoring arcade cricket game.”

That should perhaps read:

“Play as Freddie Flintoff and engage in long, soul-destroying rehabilitation programmes that are ultimately unsuccessful. Slowly come to accept that your days as an international cricketer are behind you, even though you’re only 32.

“Now features Crying Into Your Puma Pillowcase While Having An Existential Crisis mini game.”

You can order it in advance and still have time to waterproof your Nintendo DS so that your salty tears of sympathy don’t knacker it up for when you want to play Club Penguin.

International Cricket Captain 2010 review

The 2010 version of International Cricket Captain is out. It’s a good game, but pretty similar to the 2009 version really. Our ICC 2009 review should tell you everything you need to know if you’ve never played the game before.

Other than that, we want to voice a gripe. To be clear, this is borne of playing this game for many, many hours, so it’s not a diss. Our gripe is with the micromanagement.

It feels a bit like two different games. There’s the side of it where you’re signing and training the players, managing the club and selecting the team. Then there’s the side of the game where you’re telling the bowlers where to bowl and setting the field.

We like the first part. We don’t like telling Steven Finn to bowl short and straight for two different batsmen every single time he comes on to bowl. It gets boring. Nor can we bothered changing the field by the time we get to 2015 – but we STILL want to see whether our young fast-bowling all-rounder is going to turn into Garry Sobers or not and we endure endless matches, going through the motions with our match orders in order to find out.

Is this a review? Not really, but we feel a bit better now.

Buy ICC 2010 here or download the free two-day trial.

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