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).
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.
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.
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.
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.