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Cricket Captain 2017 review: Are you captain fantastic?

LiveMint logoLiveMint 21-07-2017 Abhijit Ahaskar

When it comes to cricket video games and pure entertainment, the first name that comes to mind is the EA Cricket series, which gave users full control over their favourite cricket players and teams in different gameplay scenarios.

But while some gamers like to take control of the players, there are others who prefer the management aspect.

And in the domain of cricket management games, Cricket Captain continues to be popular two decades after it was first introduced. It doesn’t really have any rivals, so to speak. The latest game in the series, Cricket Captain 2017, is now available for Windows 10 PCs (Rs619), Android (Rs490), Mac OS ($16.99, or around Rs1,100) and iOS users (Rs550).

Developed by Kavcom Ltd and published by the UK-based Childish Things, Cricket Captain 2017 is very different from Don Bradman Cricket. It allows users to control a player mentally instead of stepping into their shoes to whack every ball out of the ground.

Improved graphics

The game features one of England’s leading bowlers, James “Jimmy” Anderson, on the cover. The home screen has been updated, with in-game features being added. Gamers can now play in the 20-over leagues of all major cricket-playing countries. Four new international stadiums modelled on the stadiums in Taunton, Bristol, Cardiff and Hobart have been added and more historical scenarios (like the 1957 Test series between England and the West Indies, and the Ashes) are also available.

Regular game modes include the entire ICC itinerary for all Test-playing nations, the World Cup, World Twenty20 and the Champions Trophy. There’s also an online multiplayer mode where you can challenge other players online anywhere in the world.

The in-match graphics have been improved, in part. Player faces still need work; they don’t look anything like their real-life counterparts. But stadiums and team jerseys in the limited-over matches look more realistic. One of the strengths of the Cricket Captain series is that it has the licence to use real player names and teams. That is a big plus since, over the years, many sports video games have resorted to fictional player names and random faces.

The teams have been updated and new players have been added in the new game. The visual and gameplay remain the same on all platforms. So you won’t miss out on any feature if you opt for the mobile version.

Challenging gameplay

The gameplay continues to be as challenging as in the previous versions. You can pick your team and allocate different coaching sessions to them to improve their skill levels. Details such as pitch conditions and weather play an important part and need to be reviewed carefully before deciding to bat or bowl. For instance, if you direct a batsman running low on stamina to attack, he is likely to get out soon. Similarly, trying different variations while bowling could increase the chance of a wicket.

Cricket Captain 2017 works offline and has been optimized well for devices with low storage. It takes up just 200 MB space on both PCs and smartphones.

No in-app purchases are involved, so you don’t have to spend real money again in the game. If you are looking for some realistic cricket experience, and itching to test your cricketing strategies, this video game is a must-buy.

The gameplay continues to be as challenging as in the previous versions.

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