Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Arcade Cricket With Graphics
Author : Margaret Stanger
Standalone Release(s) : 1985: CRICKET, Bug-Byte, £1.99
Compilation Release(s) : None
Stated compatibility : Electron/BBC Dual Version
Actual compatibility : As stated
Supplier : BUG BYTE, Mulberry House, Canning Place, LIVERPOOL L1 8JB
Disc compatibility : CDFS E00, DFS E00
"First set the field, the pace, one player or two, and then thunder down the wicket to try and beat the 'Merry Hackers'. It's fully animated action by Margaret 'owzat' Stanger."
It is Summer 1985. The Merry Hackers and The Naughty Nuns are looking forward to their annual game of cricket. Unfortunately the sunshine went AWOL. This was a bit of a blow so they set about writing a computerised version. Many happy nights were spent in the local huddled around a computer, playing cricket. It is here that I come in. Wandering into the "Rue Barbe" I found a copy lying on a table. After trying it out, I wanted to sell it to a brilliant, fabulous company called 'Big Byte' or 'Bog Boot' or something like that anyway. I spent a year making the game suitable for the average person you know, de-bugging it and sobering it up. Here it is! I hope you like it.
It is summer and the village cricket season is in full swing. A touring team (The Merry Hackers Circus) has been challenging teams from the local pubs. The regulars at the 'Frog and Ferret', 'Pig and Whistle' and even the 'Brahms and Liszt' have hopelessly lost. Can you succeed where others have failed?
The computer displays the field and players, and asks the user to decide between one player or two player game. This is one day cricket so there is a choice of 10, 20 or 40 overs for each side. The team name or names are entered and the scoreboard displayed. Press 'C' to continue.
The visitors' team consists of the computer in the one player game. The instructions for moving the players are shown, and the game is started by pressing 'COPY' for keyboard operation or 'FIRE' if joysticks are being used. The bowler only is controlled as he bowls towards the pavilion end; the fielders are controlled by the computer. The second player, or computer in a one player game, controls only the active batsmen.
Move towards the wicket and press 'SPACE' to bowl. If the ball misses the wicket, the batting side is awarded one extra. If the batsman is bowled out, he starts walking off, the bowler gloats a little and the scoreboard is shown again. If the ball is hit, the batsman can take up to four runs or he may score four or six as in normal cricket.
At the end of each over the scoreboard displays the latest scores and the bowler changes ends. If 'F' is pressed when the ball is out of play, the overall view of the field is shown and the fielders can be re-arranged by the bowling side only (if desired). The bowler may also change his style of bowling at the same time by pressing '5' for slow, '7' for fast and '9' for spin bowling. To move the fielders, move the cursor with the movement keys used in the game until it is over the fielder. Press 'SPACE' to pick up the fielder and move to new position. Place fielder by pressing <COPY>. NOTE : You cannot put a fielder between the wickets. The bowler and wicket keeper are displayed in a different colour and cannot be moved.
The batsman can be caught, bowled or run out. When they are all out, or the innings is finished, the score is displayed again. Hit the stumps at the far end to run out.
The batting side has control of the active batsman. He always has the chance to take runs from one wicket to the other whenever he hits the ball. The other batsman will run with him. Remember always press <SPACE> to hit the ball. The batting side can look at the field but not change it.
The final score is given at the end of the game, and a new game can begin. Either side can end the game at any time by pressing <ESCAPE>.
M - Music On, H - Music Off, S - Display scoreboard
F - Display field (overhead view), C - Continue (after scoreboard or field)
<ESCAPE> - Start new game
One Player Game
Z - Left, X - Right, : - Up, / - Down, <SPACE> - Bowl/Bat
Two Player Game
Visitors : Z - Left, X - Right, Q - Up, A - Down, <SPACE> - Bowl/Bat
Home Team: : - Left, ; - Right, P - Up, L - Down, <SPACE> - Bowl/Bat
Or joystick control for 1 or 2 player game.
Instructions' Source : CRICKET (Bug-Byte) Inner Inlay
Review (Electron User) - "It's Just Not Cricket!"
CRICKET is a game which countless programmers have attempted to computerise but failed miserably. This offering from Bug-Byte is yet another such failure.
The game can either by played by two humans or as a man against machine contest. You can also decide whether to play over 10, 20 or 40 overs. The screen displays a view of the cricket pitch along the wicket from the bowler's end. The characters are large, chunky and consist of four fielders, two batsmen, the bowler and a wicket keeper.
When playing against the computer, you will always bowl first. You position the bowler behind the wickets and press the Spacebar. He will then pitch the ball at the batsman who will invariably hit it. You are allowed a choice of three types of bowler - slow, fast and spinner. A spinner will curve in flight as would be expected. However, it also curves when hit by the batsman and when thrown at the wickets by the bowler - odd eh?
When the ball has been struck, it will be fielded by one of your carefully positioned team mates. He then throws the ball back to the bowler. If the opposing batsmen have not finished running you can throw the ball at the far wickets. Should the ball strike the stumps before the batsman has reached the crease then he is out.
One annoying feature of the game is the way that if batsman and ball reach the wickets at the same time he will turn around and hit the ball. It's as though the program thinks you have just bowled a new ball. And while on the subject of irritations, on numerous occasions when the ball was being fielded the display reverted to the scoreboard. Pressing "C to continue" from the scoreboard allows you to carry on from the exact point at which the game was interrupted. Why this happens is a mystery to me.
The next bug came to light on my turn to bat. I struck the first couple of balls that were bowled my way and the bowler seemed to lose interest. My partner and I kept on running and nobody stopped us. Eventually I stopped and waited to face another ball but no amount of key-pressing could coax the bowler back to life.
Without the bugs the game would have been nothing special. With them, it is a complete washout.
Sound ........................... 3
Graphics ........................ 5
Playability ..................... 4
Value for money ................. 4
Overall ......................... 4
James Riddell, ELECTRON USER 4. 2