Mini-review: Real Cricket 15

Published by at

Something of a magnum opus, even though it doesn't really break new ground, there's still enough here in Real Cricket 15 (released first on Windows Phone, in a sense, since the other platforms are still on '14'!) to enable fans of the game to pass more than enough spare moments. It's true that scores like 47 all out and run rates of 16 per over are far too common, but then how exactly are you going to condense even the modern 20/20 game into a 5" phone screen and a user with only ten minutes to spare? Real Cricket gets most things right and the price to get rid of the ads isn't extortionate.

From the Store description:

  • REALISM PUSHED FURTHER - Choose from 16 nations and 8 master teams consisting of legends of the limited over game. 
  • NEW INTUITIVE TOUCH CONTROLS -  Simple and intuitive controls that compel you enjoy the game with ease.
  • WELL HEELED/ LOADED ART - Amazing and unique hand drawn graphics
  • ULTRA FLUID ANIMATIONS - Scintillating 2D Motion Captured animations
  • BE STRIKING WITH AUTHENTIC CRICKET EQUIPMENT - Authentic Cricket equipment provided by legendary manufacturers – Gray-Nicolls and SS Cricket.
  • CRICKET AT ITS PARAMOUNT - Full user control on team selection, batting and bowling order, 15 fields placements to choose from and much more
  • NUMEROUS GAME MODES - Real Cricket 2015 provides with Diverse modes, Exhibition, Tournaments such as T20 World Cup, Masters Cup and Knockout Cup. Polish your skills in the Nets. 

I think the superlatives go a little far here. 'Amazing', 'Scintillating' graphics, and so forth. The on-screen action is very passable though, with the main innovation here being a well thought out set of controls. When batting:

  1. move the player left and right
  2. select the direction of the shot
  3. select the type of shot, timed to happen as the ball is bowled

And when bowling:

  1. select the pitch point of the ball in two dimensions
  2. select the degree of spin or swerve
  3. select the speed of delivery (for a non-spin bowler)
  4. time the release properly

With one side controlled by AI, there's still plenty of variability in what happens on each shot, and it's fun to experiment. For example, backing away to off and lofting the ball over the leg side. Or bowling yorkers or deliberately short 'bouncers'. The results don't always match reality, but at least you can try the shots and balls out. And I suspect that Real Cricket 15, already into its second update, will continue improving.

Here's a walkthrough of the game in action:

Real Cricket 15 screenshot

The sponsors and resources are in place, this franchise looks like it's here to stay...

Real Cricket 15 screenshot

As with other 'big' games, this is backed up a server to handle latest player resources, stats, saved games, and updates. All pretty cool.

Real Cricket 15 screenshot

There a multitude of game modes, right down to 'nets', where you can practice - thankfully. Also nice to see some real world cricket news feeds in the game.

Real Cricket 15 screenshot

Real Cricket 15 in action, I'm bowling as a fast bowler, note the speed and timing controls. Get these wrong and you'll bowl something easy to hit or (for timing) a no ball! The animation of the bowlers is very good, that of the batsmen is a little restricted, I'd like to see a greater variety of shots, including cuts and hooks, ideally....

Real Cricket 15 screenshot

A tutorial screen gets you going, but it's all pretty intuitive. Like the real game, you'll learn on the job, as it were...

Real Cricket 15 screenshot

Real player names are licensed and each have appropriate characteristics and capabilities modelled.

Real Cricket 15 screenshot

Here I'm batting, opting to have a go at pulling the ball off to the legside. Now I just need to tap the right button at the proper time....!

Real Cricket 15 screenshot

The in-app purchases are plentiful, as you might expect. The developer's got to make a living, though. Getting rid of ads is the main thing to do first, about £1.50 in the UK. And then everything else is optional, but you can unlock extra teams, modes and equipment either through longevity or by paying. The balance feels about right overall - I still had fun playing through various matches at the £1.50/ad-less level...

Probaby the best cricket game on the platform right now, and sure to get better, you can download Real Cricket 15 for free in the Store here.

Source / Credit: Windows Phone Store