With the ICC World Twenty20 Cup over, people will have to wait a little for their next cricket fix—the South Africa-Australia Test series only starts on 9 November. In the meantime, Cricket Fever Challenge by UTV Indiagames is one option—it’s a simple mobile game which is enjoyable in short bursts, but unless you can get your friends playing as well, it won’t hold your attention for long.
It’s an asynchronous multiplayer game—you can add your Facebook friends to the game and challenge them to meet different objectives. This means that while you’re playing against a friend, both of you don’t need to be online at the same time, and you’re not bowling while your friend is batting.
Instead, both players are put to bat, and whoever hits the maximum runs in six balls is the winner—so you can, for example, challenge someone, set your score and then log off, and whenever the friend you’ve challenged logs into the game, they can accept and play the challenge, and try and beat your score.
The game looks good, with high-quality graphics, and uses simple one-touch controls to let you choose different strokes. You can see the bowler and get a prompt about the kind of ball to expect. Pick the right stroke and get the timing right and you’ll hit a six, complete with the sound effect of the leather ball hitting wood.
Time it wrong though and you’ll walk away from the crease with your head hanging, and a low score that’s easy to beat.
The game is a multi-platform title available for Android and iOS users, and can also be accessed through Facebook on a computer. You log in with your ID on any platform, and the game picks up where you left off—this means that you can start playing on your mobile, and then continue on your computer when you get home.
The other advantage is that both players don’t need to be on the same platform—an Android user can play against someone using an iPad, for example. Cricket Fever Challenge is hardly the first game to support the set-up, but it’s a good option that more games should add support for.
The game looks good on the various platforms (we checked the app on the iPad and on an Android phone) and, according to UTV Indiagames, the animations were made using motion-capture technology, so the different strokes look authentic.
There are a few shortcomings, however. For one thing, while it is free to download, you need to pay to unlock the game features, and at $4.99 (around Rs.255), it is a little expensive by App Store standards. The game also lacks depth—after you’ve played it a few times, there’s little new left to do, and this is a weakness considering that there are many completely free alternatives on the App Store.
The App Store also had some user comments about frequent crashes, but we didn’t experience this on either the iPad or on the Android version of the app.