Cricket doesn’t travel well. Very few nations play the game worldwide and the Americans have stayed well away from it, preferring its rather more aggressive distant cousin, baseball. So it was with some satisfaction that I recently saw the demo of Graham Randall’s Cricket appear on the US-based macgamefiles.com, the essential repository for Mac games.
Regularly updated since first appearing in 1996, Cricket has developed into a very playable, fun game. It isn't is a graphically-intensive simulator – in fact, the graphics are quite blocky above a 640-x-480 screen size even though the game now runs natively under Mac OS X.
What it is, though, is a highly enjoyable, almost arcade approach to the game. Select two of the nine sides available, toss the proverbial coin and bat or bowl accordingly. As a batsman, you have one option: hit the ball using the mouse to control the bat. Miss it, and you’re likely to be bowled.
Cricket 9 has some nice touches – you’ll probably duck the first time a bouncer whistles past your head. The crowd noise and bowler animations are quite realistic, as are the electronic display – which now shows the speed of the last ball bowled – and the third umpire for those controversial close-decision playbacks. Simple to play? Yes. Boring? No! Cricket is one of those games that will have you coming back for just one more ten-over quickie to try to get the better of those Aussies...