India’s defence of the ICC World Cup gets underway Down Under this week, and if you’re looking for ways to stay in the cricket mood even when you’re away from the live action, you’ve come to the right place. Here are five cricket games you can get for your smartphone or tablet, and they’re all free!
ICC Pro Cricket 15 – PC: $9.99; iOS, Android: Free
CC Pro Cricket 15 is the official game of the World Cup. It comes from Disney India-owned Indiagames, which is no stranger to cricket games, having previously worked on games based on the IPL license, as well as the next game on this list. We’re not quite sure how good the game is since it’s still a few days away from launch, but if you’re looking for the authentic World Cup gaming experience, this is as close as you can get. All 14 teams participating in the tournament are included and completely licensed, and you’ll be able to play through the entire tournament. The PC version aims for a simulation experience, with mobiles getting a cut-down free-to-play version.
Hitout Heroes – Android: Free
Also from Indiagames, Hitout Heroes takes more of a casual approach to cricket gaming than the officially licensed games its developed. As the name might suggest, Hitout Heroes is all about batting and getting as much distance on your shots as possible. The game plays a bit like Angry Birds from a third-person perspective, so you basically have to pull back on the screen to prepare for a stroke, pulling in the direction you’d like to play the stroke in. There are lots of power-ups to mix things up and there’s enough variation in the bowling to keep things interesting. What makes Hitout Heroes fun though is the simplicity and intuitiveness of its gameplay, making it the ideal game to turn to during the drinks break.
Cricket Rockstar – Android: Free
Of the five games on this list, Cricket Rockstar (formerly Cricket Match) is the only one that isn’t actually a cricket game. Instead, it’s a Match-3 game, much like Candy Crush, but with a cricket theme to it. Developed by Indian studio Tiny Mogul Games, Cricket Rockstar gives you a set number of balls to reach a certain score, and to do this, you must match a string of similarly coloured balls on the screen, much like you’d match candy in Candy Crush. There are scores of levels to play through and power-ups to deploy, and since its initial release, multiplayer has also been added. While the difficulty spikes are a bit annoying, it’s a good game in short bursts for those looking to stay in the cricket mood without actually having to bother with the technicalities.
Real Cricket 14 – iOS, Android: Free
Mobile devices aren’t ideal for something as complex as cricket, what with the various batting and bowling styles, but if realism is what you seek, the closest you’ll probably get its Hyderabad-based Nautilus Mobile’s Real Cricket 14. It plays from a perspective that’s a lot like traditional console and PC games, and unlike most games on this list feature both batting and bowling. What’s more, it offers a wide variety of batting strokes in every direction, plus a powerful bowling engine that lets you chose line, length and pace. There’s plenty of content here and it’s all presented in a very cool hand-drawn art style. After RC14, Nautilus has also released two spin-offs – Real Cricket: Aussie T20 Bash and Real Cricket: Champions League.
Stick Cricket – iOS, Android: Free
In terms of pure, unadulterated fun, Stick Cricket probably tops this list. Like most of these games, it focuses only on batting and gameplay is pretty basic. All you have to do is decide which side of the pitch you want to play on. What makes Stick Cricket really fun though is that it relies on your reflexes. You’ll have to judge the line of the delivery in time to decide which side to play on, then gauge the length in order to get your timing right, and you’ll have to do all of this in a split-second. You’ll get a few power overs from time to time, which will show a marker to indicate where the ball will pitch, but these must be used sparingly. Stick Cricket is a simple game, but there’s a ton of content available, including the fun World Domination mode. If you like Stick Cricket, there are several web-based variations to the game available on the Stick Sports website.