Review by Madstedotcom
Summer’s here so its time to get the whites out of the loft and head down to the local pitch, or for the less active of us we can mix a pitcher or eight of Pimms and load either Cricket or Test Master up on our trusty Speccy’s. Both games allow us to be the captain of England in either an one day (Cricket Master) or test match (Test Master). As captain you pick the team, chose the strategy, pick the bowlers, set the field and virtually everything but play the game yourself. The game gives you ball by ball commentary with an overhead view showing where the last shot went.
When batting you pick the order the players bat in and can set the aggression. This does seem to have an impact on both the run rate and the chances of one of your batsmen getting out. Other than this you are sat there watching, this is where the afore mentioned Pimms might come in handy. The bowling operates pretty much the same, pick who bowls,what line they bowl and set the field, then sit back and see you master plan reduce the West Indies to 47-8 hopefully.
The settings you pick do seem to have an impact on your teams performance, however this seems to over ride the players individual form ratings to some degree. The real drawback with the game is while it is a detailed simulation of Cricket it is too slow, to play a one day game takes about 4 hours and I’ve never played a full test match. This could be seen as an accurate representation of the real game but who wants to spend all day watching text and dots on their screen. Another disappointing aspect is that there is no career or cup competitions you play your game and that’s it.
While there are slight differences between the two, I feel the graphics for a Spectrum are good but they are helped by it really being a still image.
The game plays well using the keys to navigate the easy to follow menus. As mentioned the real problem is the speed of the game.
There is no music or sound effects just a beep when picking next batsman or bowler.
I feel the games look and play like they did when I first played them back in the day. However as opposed to then I can no longer spend a day playing a virtual game of cricket.
If you are a cricket nut with plenty of time to kill you will get some enjoyment out of these but being realistic they are just too slow. Which is a shame as you do feel that the selections you make have an impact on the game. I would rate Cricket Master just above Test Master purely as it is easier to play a full game.