Electron User1st September 1987
Published in Electron User 4.12
Cricket is a tactical game of subtlety which makes it interesting to watch and difficult to play. For the same reason, trying to simulate cricket on a computer accurately would appear to be almost impossible. Audiogenic has attempted this and produced Graham Gooch's Test Cricket.
You play one of three types of limited over games or a full two innings Test. The teams are England and Australia, but you can alter the names and the players, together with their batting and bowling averages.
You select from two squads of players and I think it would help if the lists included information as to whether they are batsmen, bowlers, wicketkeepers or all-rounders.
Once the teams have been selected you decide what type of match to play and whether you require a one or two-player game. Next, decide on your skill level, and who your team's wicketkeeper and slip fielder will be. Be careful here, the first time I played I put Botham in the slips and found later, this prevented him from bowling.
If you win the toss you can bat first or put the opposing side in. Take my advice, if you get the choice, bat second.
Bowling takes a little practice, but it is possible to make some reasonable deliveries. On the other hand, I found batting extremely difficult, even on skill level one.
For some reason the boundary fielders drop nine times out of ten when I'm bowling but never miss when I'm batting.
The colour scheme is predominantly green with white for the players' bodies and crease markings. The screen is extremely bright and it wasn't long before I swapped the colour monitor for a black and white portable television.
The view is from behind and slightly above the bowler. The graphics, while not anything to write home about, are adequate. The sound is pretty awful. As the start of the bowler's run there is an annoying beep. The other sounds are the thwack of the ball hitting the bat or pads, the slightly different thwack when it catches the edge of the bat and a sound like bacon frying to represent applause.
Graham Gooch's Test Cricket is a fair attempt at a simulation, though it may have a limited appeal. Those who don't like or understand cricket may find the game boring, while the purist will probably think it "just isn't cricket!".