Do you know that feeling when, as soon as a title screen comes up, you think to yourself: "Oh dear, oh hear; this really is going to be crap"? Well then, have some sympathy for this poor reviewer, because International One Day Cricket is every bit as bad as I feared it might be - and I endured its brain numbing tedium just so you won't have to as well.
The game is very similar to its partner-in-crime, Test Match Cricket (reviewed in issue 60). In both games, the player takes the captain's role and has to make all the vital decisions which are necessary to steer a side to victory. Test Match was an utterly awful affair, and if you think the one day version must surely be more exciting - you'd be wrong.
Once past the title page you face a number of options pages where you pick your side and stuff. This is notable for the fact that you must play six bowlers (a strange tactic, I would have thought), and for the glaring red background which no amount of monitor adjustment eases - this game will make your eyes hurt, as well as your head.
And then there's the graphics. As you can see they make the game look like some early Spectrum job typed in from a magazine.
Non one wants to sit in front of a monitor
Having done all the preparatory nonsense, you play a match. Errr, I think. You see, you don't really 'play' at all, really. You just stare at the screen in boredom, stabbing the C button to bowl or face another ball. Any drama going on out on the pitch is certainly not translated to the screen.
Sure, you can juggle your bowlers or your fielders around, or make your batsman more aggressive or defensive, but the whole charade is so uninteresting that any attempt to liven things up is futile. In theory, a match played out to the finish might have an exciting ending, but I can't see it, somehow. Few people in their right minds are likely to be able to cope with the mental strain of completing such a tortuous exercise.
We gave the by far superior Battle for the Ashes to you for free last month, anyway, so there is absolutely no reason to spend your hard-earned cash on International One Day Cricket.
There is no comparison between the two, really. Personally, I'd much rather have the illusion playing cricket rather than watching it on teletext. Cricket is a slow game, at the best of times, but this game actually succeeds in making it seem even more boring.
Maybe a cricket game based purely on strategy is asking too much. I mean, what can a player do in such a game? Very little. What can you do to make such a game more exciting, without actually putting bat on ball? Very little. No one wants to sit in front of a screen twiddling their thumbs. I don't, I'd rather watch cricket, for goodness sake!
So while there are more than enough tables, match statistics, and averages, there is simply not enough excitement. There's not even any crowd noise, which would at least help to generate some sort of atmosphere. Maybe a beer tent would help. Or a couple of streakers even. Anything to relieve the boredom.
The box states proudly that we can experience the tension and drama of real one day cricket with this game. Mmmm. There must a few software executives wandering around with extremely long noses.