Graham Gooch's Test Cricket
Copyright/Publisher: Audiogenic, Release Year: 1985,
Genre: Cricket, Number Of Players: 1 or 2
Cricket simulations on the 64 have been few and far between and apart from
Tim Love's Cricket and Ian Botham's there have been no really notable ones.
Cricket simulations are quite a difficult thing to do, since the game itself
is a slow and leisurely one (despite recent developments in one day cricket and
equipping players with futuristic protective clothing to induce a feeling a
fast danger into the game), but Audiogenic have added a little action to
spice it up.
GG's TC has two playing modes - simulation and arcade. With simulation one or
two players can play but in mode arcade it's only the one player that can take
part. When you want to play you first have to decide how long the match will
actually be; 40, 55 or 60 overs each side.
If you're in arcade mode then there's a choice of nine levels on the computer
to battle against. There's squad of twenty men from which to choose your team,
although you have to be careful to choose all the correct members of the team
(ie skills in wicket keeping, bowling, batting etc), otherwise the team can't
When you choose simulation you don't actually take part as such. You can choose
your team with fast/slow bowlers etc and can make tactical changes within your team
but once started it becomes a sit-back-and-watch strategy game with some interaction.
If you are bowling then you can choose between the bowler attacking on the offside
or the legside. If you're batting then you can choose between defensive, normal or
Arcade mode is entirely different, you actually take part in a test and bat and bowl
as in real life. When bowling you have to move the joystick from side to side
'Decathlon' style to make your bowler deliver a fast and hard ball. If you want
a slow delivery then just slow up the toggling for a bit.
When you bat you have to manoeuvre the batsman to a good position and strike
the ball by a timely press on the fire button. If you get your stroke right
then you'll knock the ball for some runs. Get it spot on and you get a four or
even a six.
Throughout the game the score is shown after each over or when a batsman is out.
There is also another feature which allows cricket teams to be loaded in so you
can play all your favourites - old or REALLY old.
There are obviously lots of cricket fans - they're a breed apart! I have to admit
I'm not in their ranks, and that does make it a bit hard to review a game on the
subject objectively. Some sports lend themselves to arcade games rather well,
but I feel cricket falls more into the strategy simulation area - something
which makes it even more boring for the lesser cricket fan.
Audiogenic have here provided a game to suit both tastes, while at the same
time using the 64's graphics capabilities to provide large characters (cricket's
been quite a popular theme on the Spectrum where such extravagant animation
is a bigger problem).
Unlike Ian Bothem, GG's TC opts for a presentation that is familiar to TV
cricket watchers, with an over-the-bowler close up view of the action, cutting to
longer views of the field when a batsman hits a long shot to the boundary. While
the players are a bit blocky looking, their movements are realistic enough.
After a bit of getting into the game I came to enjoy it in arcade mode -
simulation mode, I must say, seemed a bit pointless - and I think this will prove
popular with cricket fans and may even tempt some philistines. I think it only
fair to rate it on its merits as a game that must have specialist appeal.
This gave me the impression of being more of an 'arcade' person's sort of cricket
than say Tim Love's Cricket. After a fair few plays I wasn't too impressed as it
was rather slow and didn't allow a great deal of interaction. The graphics
are slightly blocky and not exactly that well animated but I feel they work well.
Not having any true control over fielding is a bit silly and disappointing but
the game is still quite playable. Graeme Gooch's is a brave attempt at a new
style of cricket game that gave me initial high expectations but unfortunelately
didn't quite live up to them.
A decent cricket simulation seems to be a difficult thing to achieve on the 64
and to me this is about the best one yey. Although having some annoying
touches like not being able to control your fielders it does have some very good
Bowling and batting is quite good fun, especially with the wiggle technique
and the game is extremely easy to use for those uninitiated to cricket games.
The graphics aren't TOO bad although I think they could have been improved upon
quite a bit.
Sound is pretty poopy with a few clicks, clocks and shhhhhhhhhh's from the
crowd when you do something clever and there's also some speech. The gameplay
isn't too bad and overall it's quite a good simulation. The only trouble is
that it does get rather boing.