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1986
Sport: Action
£9.95
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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13
Chris Bourne

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 arcade mode only one player may take part. First you have to decide how long the match will actually be: 40, 55 or 60 overs. If you're in arcade mode then there's a choice of nine levels of play, the computer to battle against and a squad of twenty men from which to choose your team. You have to be careful to choose all the correct members of the team, taking into account each potential member's skills in batting, bowling and fielding.

If simulation is chosen you don't actually take part as such but make tactical decisions when selecting. Once started it becomes a sit-back-and-watch strategy game with some interaction after every innings. If you are bowling then you can choose between the bowler attacking on the offside or the legside. If batting then you can choose between defensive, normal or aggressive play.

Arcade mode is entirely different, you actually take part in a test and bat and bowl in real time. 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 batting 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 the stroke right then the ball is knocked for some runs. Get it spot on and you get a four or even a boundary 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!

CRITICISM

'GG's Cricket does actually have some animated graphical content. Okay, you may consider why this is so exciting -well let's be honest chaps, until this game Cricket and graphics were just not on. (It was just not Cricket)! Fair enough, Ultimate won't be too worried by these graphics. The game allows for arcade or simulation play. Arcade - well it's not really hyper zappily good, but offers much more than its competitors. As for the simulation game, it's pretty much like the arcade version but with less to do! In trying to liven the game up they've lost most of the strategic elements but have gained in arcade qualities'

'Graham Gooch's Test Cricket is the best attempt at a cricket simulation to appear on the Spectrum so far. Despite my own dislike for the sport, I can easily see how anyone interested would instantly get hooked. For those of you uninterested in the arcade side of life there's a simulation mode allowing the player to make fine tactical changes between innings and men. In arcade mode things get a bit more exciting and may even appeal to some non-cricketing fans. The animation of the figures is quite good and they move realistically despite their blocky appearance, adding greatly to the overall flavour. This is a great simulation which should go down well with fans of the sport and deserves some attention outside of cricketing circles'

'Cricket seems to have been one of those sports that a number of companies have tried to simulate on the Spectrum from the earliest days, mostly with rather sad results. The nature of the sport is a bit slow to provide fast thrills on a computer, but Audiogenic seem to have managed a satisfactory blend of the essential strategy elements with some of the arcade action that has been so lacking in previous cricketing simulations. For the first time we have (almost) real looking playing characters doing very crickety things, and the screen cutting from main pitch to outfield action works very well. So Graham Gooch's Test Cricket may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's a must for cricket fans, a worthy buy for sports simulation collectors and probably well worth a look at for everyone else.'

COMMENTS
Control keys
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2
Keyboard play: adequate
Use of colour: good. Not much attribute clash
Graphics: rather blobby
Sound: good crowd cheer, not much else
Skill levels: one, two types of game
Screens: main screen, plus menus and automatic fielding screen
General Rating: Best cricket simulation yet on the Spectrum.

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