This makes a change from all the footy games around at the moment. You control the England cricket team and as manager guide them through a typical season (what? Lots of rain and not winning? - Ed). The options come first: choose to play match, list team, scout for new players, arrange transfers or get manager details. When all options are set you choose to play a friendly match or participate in test matches.
Right, to the sound of beer cans being rythmically smashed together, pick a country to battle with. There are seven to choose from, Australia, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Canada. Once you've chosen who to play the pitch is displayed with your fielders spread out in formation. When batting, a face on view of the batter is shown, and by moving the joystick or pressing the appropriate key at the right time the bat connects with the ball.
When fielding you're shown the birds eye view of the pitch with the trajectory of the ball being charted when thrown. At the end of the match you're informed of the score and given the chance to carry on the next.
I can't say International Cicket Manager exactly my cup of tea. Graphically the game is, perhaps understandably, rather simplistic, though the amount of options available is very commendable. Mind you, this can lead to a longwinded session, but cricket fans who prefer using their brain than their brawn should take a look.
MARK ... 50%
'There are so many different managerial games around you must be spoilt for choice if you're out to buy one! The newest on the list is... (fanfare please) international Cricket Manager! If you're one of the people who has sat watching the box, wishing England would do better at the sport, this is the game for you. Everyone must know what managerial games are like: long lists of players and options, hardly any graphics or sound... I.C.M. is just like that. There is an attempt to spice up the game with graphics, but there's nothing to shout about. All the options are here for the hardened cricket fan, but if cricket isn't your game steer clear.'
NICK ... 47%
Lacklustre cricket with appeal to manager fans only.