Howzat – An Online Social Cricket Game

I just came across the website for this game while browsing the Planetcricket.net forums. The developers describe Howzat as an “online social cricket game” and, perhaps with some audacity, the “world’s sexiest cricket game.” There isn’t much information available on the game at this point. There is a Facebook page up for it which states that game was to be released in late August 2009. It shouldn’t be too long then before we hear more information about its future.

These are the features of the game as listed on its website:

  • Play in your browser – no installs.
  • Manage your own team.
  • Customize your own players.
  • Play with different batting modes.
  • Choose from over 20 batting shots.
  • Pick three bowling modes.
  • Customize field settings.
  • Play with friends/strangers from around the world.
  • Play from Facebook/Orkut and post your scores.
  • Play in full screen/or play discreetly behind your boss’s back.
  • Participate in Tournaments.
  • Choose Avatars, Cricket grounds, and more…
  • Here’s a link to Howzat’s website where you can sign up to possibly be a part of the beta testing process and receive updates, and to their Facebook page.

    Update to Live Cricket 2009

    The developer of Live Cricket 2009 has released an updated beta version of the game. According to him, this version will serve as the final public beta for the game before it undergoes further changes and is released in its final form.

    The updated version fixes most of the bugs from earlier releases and contains a few substantive feature changes. It can be downloaded here. There’s also a patch to go along with it which can be downloaded here. Both files need to be renamed from .doc to .zip. You can then unzip the files and overwrite the executable from the first folder with the one from the folder for the patch.

    If you encounter any bugs or would like to suggest changes to the game, you can post them in the Live Cricket 2009 thread on the Planetcricket.net forums.

    Click here to view screenshots of the game

    Cricket Revolution Gameplay

    There’s a video up on youtube that shows the gameplay of the upcoming Mindstorm Studios game, Cricket Revolution.

    The person providing the commentary moves in and out of using English, so it might be somewhat difficult to understand what he’s trying to say at certain points. The graphics seem decent, at least based on the standard set by past cricket games. But, of course, the big sell of Cricket Revolution is its online multi-player feature, not its graphics. Something that stood out from the video is how the bowling system works. The player determines the pace and variation well before the bowler begins his run up. Also, I noticed that every ball that was bowled in the video was easily dispatched to the boundary. It’s hard to say anything conclusive about the quality of the gameplay from the video, but hopefully the batting system is more challenging than it looked.

    Galli Cricket

    Galli Cricket is a game for the PC that has been out for a while now. For a number of reasons, it has largely been eclipsed by other, better marketed cricket games on the market. One reason is that the game has focused on catering almost exclusively to the subcontinent’s large fan base, to India, in particular. The concept of ‘galli’ (street) cricket itself holds much more appeal for cricket fans on the subcontinent, most of whom developed their love for the game playing on neighbourhood streets. A second reason is that the game lacks, by design, the sort of realism that fans seek in cricket games. Its narrow focus in recreating the feel of street cricket means that the official formats of the sport are left out, no international teams, no tests. To its credit, Galli Cricket sets itself a limited task of catering to a specific niche and does a pretty good job at that.

    You can read more about the feature set of Galli Cricket on its website. You can also download the free version of the game on its website by registering or here.

    The Five Best Online Cricket Games

    Like most people, I’m guessing, the first cricket games I played were online. Most of ‘em were dinky, little arcade-style flash games. They were easy to pick up and held my interest for long enough to get me through those hours of boredom. Based on those experiences and through a very flimsy and subjective process of analysis, I’ve concluded that the following five games are the best I’ve ever had the privilege of playing. Surprisingly enough, most of these games have been on the internet for many years. I really think that, with the exception of Stickcricket, we haven’t seen too many  good online cricket games for a while now.

    Honorable mention: Little Master

    Little Master is arguably the easiest of these to pick up. Why? Because there is basically one ‘control’. You just move the mouse to swing the bat as you attempt to dispatch the ball to the boundaries of the box. I really don’t know why, but I find this simple game extremely addictive.

    5. Hit the Sign

    I believe ING Direct, the banking company, came out with this game a few years ago to apparently show case their cricketing credentials to their Australian customers. I don’t know how successful this ploy was, but it certainly succeeded in distracting me from my school work for a while. It’s pretty simple to learn. You have to time your shots by clicking on a bulls-eye and score as many runs as you can in four overs. And if that doesn’t already sound like an impossibly difficult task, you also have to navigate an obstacle in the form of a naked Australian streaker (the worst kind).

    4. Virtual Cricket

    Virtual Cricket has to be one of the oldest cricket games out there. I remember playing it when I was first introduced to the internet. Despite its age, it is probably one of the more complete online cricket games in terms of gameplay, although that’s not saying much. The player is placed into three scenarios as an Indian batsman chasing increasingly difficult totals against Australia. The graphics aren’t too shabby, and there are a decent number of strokes available for the batsman to play.

    3. BBC’s Last Man Standing

    If I remember correctly, the BBC released this game prior to the 2002-2003 Ashes series. So, it’s also been out there for a while now. It’s somewhat similar in gameplay to Virtual Cricket. The player has to choose between four scenarios all of which require him to come in as the last man standing and secure a victory for England. If you are an English cricket fan, this game might come in handy during the recovery process if England loses the final test at The Oval this week.

    2. Npower Test Series

    Another game, another marketing ploy. Lucky for us, this one’s actually pretty good. The player is placed into the role of a batting team and has to score as many runs as possible from 12 overs with 10 wickets at hand. It’s a purely arcade-style game and depends upon your ability to time your shots and adjust to the pace, which varies somewhat wildly, and the line of the bowler.

    1. Stickcricket

    Was there ever any doubt about this one? Stickcricket was first released a couple of years ago and its developers have consistently improved it since then. Not only is its gameplay challenging,  it also features a wide variety of gameplay modes, including an online multiplayer mode. It also records pretty in-depth statistics for each player.

    An Interview with the CEO of Mindstorm Studios

    The person being interviewed is Babar Ahmed, the CEO of Mindstorm Studios which developed the soon to be released Cricket Revolution.

    For much of the interview, he discusses the challenges of producing and distributing a game like Cricket Revolution while being one of the few video game development studios based in Pakistan. He also talks about what makes Cricket Revolution unique compared to its main competitors, Codemasters’ Ashes Cricket 2009 and the EA Sports Cricket series. According to him, Cricket Revolution’s stand out feature will be its focus on being a community-based online multiplayer game. After the game is released, the Cricket Revolution website will serve as a community portal in which players can view leaderboards, in-depth statistics, etc. The game will be available to be purchased on Steam on September 18.

    Live Cricket 2009

    Live Cricket 2009 is a work-in-progress game for the PC being developed by Kurtkz, a member at the Planetcricket.net forums. At the moment, it’s primarily an arcade-style game with mostly 2d graphics, but it will also include a management/simulation mode.

    Screenshots and more information about the game can be found at his thread on the Planetcricket forums: http://www.planetcricket.net/forums/cricket-game-development-project/live-cricket-2008-2009-a-56435.html

    He has also recently released an early demo for people to test. The demo can be downloaded here.

    Yes, that is a .doc file extension at the end. You have to rename it to .zip after you download the file. You can then unzip it and click on the executable file.

    Kurtkz has provided a brief tutorial on how to play the game that can be downloaded here. If you encounter any problems with the game, you can report them in the Planetcricket thread and contribute to the development of the game.