Cricket Captain
Copyright/Publisher: D & H Games, Release Year: 1991,
Genre: Cricket, Number Of Players: 1

Continuing their relentless urge to simulate every sporting activity under the sun in as many different ways as possible, D&H have released Cricket Captain just in time for the beginning of the new season.

Using a verity of text-based menus and reports Cricket Captain offers all budding Goochies as comprehensive a list of features as you could wish for - and if you don't believe me take a gander at the back of the cassette box and check out the long list printed there.

After choosing one of the recognised cricketing counties you are whisked to a main menu. Here you can scan you team, seeing for yourself just how bad they are and what an uphill struggle you've got! The selected team, depicted in white, are listed above a number of reserve players.

Each player has a variety of individual statistics indicating how good/bad he is. For example, each player is rated for his batting, fielding and bowling skills, his favourite bowling style and batting shot plus his batting speed.

In addition to this information you will see who has been selected as a bowler and wicket keeper. You can change the latter before a match or, if he is a real stinker, transfer him (you will have to pay tax on the sale, though).

Buying players in no problem, if you have the cash. Just ask your scout to look at a competing team to see who is available. Cash is the sticking point, however. Income is available, though, from the match played and from the directors' contributions.

Both the JP and CA leagues and cups can be played. During the actual match there is no 'graphic game', as listed on the back of the cassette inlay, but an animated scorecard. Each player who bats increases his score until he is out (LBW, stumped, etc), then the next player is highlighted.

Elsewhere on the card the bowler and facing batter are listed for each bowl. Injured players can be viewed, too, with a gauge to how long they will be out of action.

Cricket Captain is a little frustrating. Yes, this is the best (only?) cricket management game around but it does have its bad points. The manual is crummy. It does not explain all of the avenues of the game and leaves some abbreviations to the imagination of the player, no strategies are discussed and no tutorial is offered.

Worse, the game is lacking in presentation and is very slow. However, cricket buffs should still check out Cricket Captain because there is a game in there somewhere.

Extras
When you buy the game you'll notice an 'International' feature listed at the back. This does give the wrong impression as it does not mean that you can play international matches (eg controlling England) within Cricket Captain.

However, there are hooks to save players to a proposed sister game, based purely on international cricket. You would, basically, save your required players from Cricket Captain and load the team into the international version.

I asked D&H of the international game was still on the cards. They replied that its release was not a priority, as most of their time is taken up with 16-bit originals. However, an international game was still possible.

Another possibility is a release of Cricket Captain 2, although no details or dates are available. If a sequel is decided on it will not appear for quite a long time though.


INTRO SCREEN

PRESENTATION 31%
Pretty basic text screens. Poor 'manual'.
GRAPHICS 20%
Erm...the text is in different colours - that's it really.
SOUND 0%
What sound?.
HOOKABILITY 71%
Cricket fans will love it, others will curse the slow updates.
LASTABILITY 62%
Lots of competitions, players and features to keep you happy.
OVERALL 70%
Of interest to cricket fans, although lots of room for improvement.


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