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The U.S. does have a national cricket team, though the game of cricket is not very popular in America. Cross the Atlantic, and you land on U.K. where the game was practically invented and nurtured. In my country (India), it’s a way of life just like baseball is in the U.S. That was just part of the reason this Android game finds a place among my installs.
One of the main reasons this game has stayed on in my Android is for its sheer addictiveness. You may not understand cricket in all its nuances, but if you love hitting a ball out of the park with a bat, you just might love Stick Cricket. Stick Cricket is perhaps the most popular cricket game in the Google Play Store. Again, the reason is simplicity. Maybe, our readers who recommended it on our Best Android Games page like it for the same reason.
Laying the Pitch
Stick Cricket is a 10 MB sized download for Android (and also for iOS). It is a free game with lots of play options. If you want to go beyond that, there are in-app purchases available which extend the play. The free game comes with ads which really aren’t a bother at all.
Hit Out Or Get Out
Stick Cricket is a fun game because you don’t need to be a cricket buff to learn the game. Heck, you don’t need to be from a country that plays the game. Why? Because the game can be played with just two buttons (or two thumbs), and the rules are simpler than in the actual on-field game. In fact, the motto of the game is ‘Hit out or get out’. There’s not even a comma to make you pause and ponder between the two parts of the sentence.
Simple…But Difficult To Master
Getting into the basics of the game is easy. As soon as you hit the red play button, you are introduced to the basic features. Enter the Stick Cricket Academy to work on your batting skills.
You can click on red colored book that’s titled – How To Play Stick Cricket. If you were expecting a massive tome on all aspects of the game, expect not. Three ‘rules’ define how the game is played on-screen:
- Watch the bowler closely as he bowls.
- Tap in the direction you want to hit the ball.
- Tap the correct button at the correct time.
That’s it! With that just attend a practice session on a pitch which tell you with a target marker (the prac-o-meter) where the ball will land, so you can choose the appropriate right or left button. But believe me here, it is not easy as it looks.
The Challenges of the Games
There are a couple of basic game modules in the free version:
- 5 Over All Star Slog – score as many runs as you can against the All Star bowling team.
- World Domination Levels 1-3 – dominate the world one country at a time.
The intricacies of each game module are not as important as the feel of the game play. It is similar in both respects. The only differences are the match settings, and how you team up.
The play screen as you can see is detailed enough and a ‘cartoonish’ replica of an actual match. You can view your (and your team’s) progress on a scorecard. The game can be paused and resumed anytime.
What’s important is your sense of timing as the ball comes hurtling towards you with the intention of knocking your head off. Balls get pitched at different lengths and you have to decide in a split second which side of the pitch you will favor the stroke. A wrong choice more often than not results in a dismissal. Stick Cricket is basically a test of your quicksilver reflexes and your sense of timing. Both, are quite difficult to master.
Not every shot is a scoring shot. In fact, I bet it will take you quite a few tries to cross the 50 run mark. As you keep playing, some of the shots will start seeming predictable. Don’t go looking for a match between the name on the scoeboard, and how they bowl or bat. Even then, the game is engrossing. In my opinion, the developer should fine-tuning the leg-spin bowling because I found out that nothing was good enough to preserve my wicket.
One English commentator has described the game – “…utterly useless but a lot of fun.” I agree. But will you? For that, play a few matches and tell us how Stick Cricket scores in your opinion.