The Micro User1st October 1987
Published in The Micro User 5.08
Cricket is a tactical game of many subtleties which make it interesting to watch and difficult to play.
For the same reasons, trying to simulate cricket on a computer accurately would appear to be a near-impossible task. Audiogenic have made an attempt and produced Graham Gooch's Test Cricket.
The object is towin a cricket match. You can play one of three types of limited over cricket or a full two innings test match. The teams are England and Australia, but you can alter the data statements in the program to change the names of the teams and the players, together with their batting and bowling averages.
Initially you enter the team selection program which allows you to choose the teams from two squads of players. I think it would help if the lists included some information about the players, for instance whether they are batsmen, bowlers, wicket keepers or all rounders.
Once the teams have been selected you decide what type of match you wish to play, whether you require a one or two-innings game and if you want the simulation or arcade mode. The simulation mode is where you just watch the game happen and occasionally chip in to change the bowlers. Next, you must choose your skill level, and who your team's wicket keeper and slip fielder will be. Be careful here.
The first time I played the game I put Botham in the slips and found later that 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 - The game lasts longer that way. Bowling takes a little practice, but after a while it is possible to make some reasonable deliveries.
I found batting, on the other hand, extremely difficult, even at the first skill level. The main reason is the speed of the opposition bowlers. They get through an over in less than 30 seconds.
The colour scheme is predominantly green, with some white used for the players' bodies and the crease markings. Very small amounts of yellow and black are also used. The playing screen is extremely bright and it didn't take me long to swap the colour monitor I normally use for a black and white portable television.
The view you get is from behind and slightly above the bowler. The graphics, while not anything to write home about, are adequate.
The sound is pretty awful - every time you start the bowler's run up there is an annoying beep. The other sounds are the thwack of the ball hitting the bat or pads, a slightly different thwack when the ball catches the edge of the bat and a sound like bacon frying to represent applause. There are several ways a batsman can be out: Bowled, l.b.w., caught behind by the wicket keeper or slip fielder and caught on the boundary.
For some reason the boundary fielders drop catches nine times out of ten when I'm bowling, but never miss a catch when I'm batting. There is one other way of getting out and that is by being run out. You never actually see it happen though.
The instructions for the game are concise, easy to follow but by no means complete.
Graham Gooch's Test Cricket is a fair attempt at a cricket simulation. I just feel that it may have limited appeal. Those who don't like or don't understand cricket may find the game boring, while purists will probably think it "just isn't cricket!"
Sound 6 Graphics 6 Playability 7 Value for Money 7 Overall 7