Cricket 20-20
| Cricket 20-20

The Pocket Gamer office is split when it comes to the merits of the noble game of cricket. Some think it is supreme, calling upon a player's intelligence and skill to outwit the opposition, while many more regard it as close to a waste of time, dumbfounded that it lasts for days on end.

Addressing the balance is 20-20, a cricket-lite format if you will, with all the excitement and supposedly, none of the tedium.

IG Fun certainly hopes that's the case with its new mobile effort, Cricket 20-20. Unfortunately though, despite an amount of gloss, those of us with an interest in the sport feel the game's lacking in critical areas which prevents it from having a good innings.

You can select one of two game modes: Quick Play or Tournament. Quick Play, as the name suggest, enables you to delve straight into a match by randomly selecting your team and your opponent. Great if you don't care who you play as.

In Tournament mode, meanwhile, you select a team and opponent, from a list of some of the best squads in the world. Indeed, we're putting money on the fact that one of the first games you'll set up is an England-Australia showdown to avenge the humiliating whitewash at the last Ashes.

So it has the teams, but how does it play? Well, first off: batting. At you disposal is pretty much the entire line-up of numerical keys on your phone; ten if you include the '*' button.

With this extensive layout you can perform all sorts of moves such as late cut/run, sweep shot, square cut, defend, off drive and many more. The problem is, it takes an absurd amount of play time before you stop struggling to remember what each key does in the heat of the moment. It's not the simplest method of control we've ever seen and unfortunately it takes too long to pick up.

Then, once you've kind of got the hang of the masses of keys, you'll spend even longer working out which of these moves can best combat the balls launched at your bowler. To begin with at least, you may get a few fours but the majority of the time, those wickets of yours are going to be splitting at an alarming rate. It's a shame because that immediately sends the fun value right down.

When it's the turn of your team to bowl you first have to select your bowler, examining each player's speciality (such as Leg Spinner, Swing or Pace) to decide on the sort of bowl you're going to attack the batsman with.

Then it's a case of setting out your fielders, using either aggressive, defensive or a custom formation.

As the bowler, you have a travelling cursor, moving from left to right, enabling you to select which side of the batter the will go. Once that's been determined, you must then pinpoint the part of the crease you want the ball to bounce from. After that you set the power and the spin via a graphical representation of the ball that appears in the bottom left of the screen.

Encouragingly, the bowling in Cricket 20-20 works better and seems more instinctive than the batting section, so the game definitely gains a few plus points here.

Presentation is also good, with an easy on the eye colour palette, coupled with polished, EA-esque menus. The in-game graphics do the job with nice player animation, while touches such as showing the bowler taking a run up and a hawk eye-style action reply of the ball hitting the stumps are welcome. The music, sound effects and speech synthesis crowd and umpire are of a good quality, too.

Unfortunately, technically accomplished and detailed as it is, Cricket 20-20's problems – like having to remember a multitude of keys so you have a chance of hitting the ball, and the fact you don't always feel in as much control as you should – badly dents the gameplay. There is enjoyment to be had, but you'll likely have to be a hugely committed cricket follower to find it with Donald Bradman-like consistency.

Cricket 20-20

Impressively comprehensive and presented sim, but limited fun means this is probably for the very, very hardcore cricket fan only
Chris Maddox
Chris Maddox
Liverpool fan, Chris, loves to watch the mighty Redmen play. In between matches however, he's an avid mobile games reviewer for Pocket Gamer. Chris has assured us that he only thinks about Liverpool FC a mere 80 per cent of the day.