Here it is then, the reason we’ve been so quiet since September: Big Cup Cricket for iOS. So, what is it, you ask? Well, that’s simple enough – it’s the best arcade cricket game in the world, that’s what.
Of course you’d expect me to say that, wouldn’t you? It’s kind of in my interests for it to be good after all. Fair enough… you got me there.
What you wouldn’t expect though is Gary Penn to say it. Yep, even if you don’t know Gary personally, you’ll know his reputation – he rarely likes anything. In fact, I think this might be the first thing I’ve heard him like all year – apart from Season 4 of Mad Men, but we’re not talking TV shows here.
Fortunately though, I was lucky enough to secure a brief interview with Denki’s Design Guru before he headed in to yet another top-secret design meeting for his latest project.
“I’ve not played a better cricket game – and I’ve played a lot,” stated Gary. “I played a lot when I was reviewing as a journalist, and I certainly played a lot more recently when I started the design for this project, so I’ve played pretty much everything that’s out there for reference. Big Cup Cricket is as good as it gets – on any platform.”
Whoa there – I’ve been working with Gary a while now, and that’s just not the sort of hyperbole he uses when talking about games; especially ones he’s worked on. He’s notoriously (nay, frustratingly…) hard to please. So I pushed him harder on it, “Really Gaz? Really really? The best cricket game you’ve played on any platform? Ever?”
“Yep, it’s not hyperbole, it’s just a fact” he clarified dismissively. “The only caveat I’d add is if you’re a hardcore cricket fan. If you’re coming to Big Cup Cricket hoping for a cricket simulation then you’re likely to be disappointed. This is a cricket game, not a cricket simulation. You’re still likely to have fun, just not of the sort you were maybe hoping for.”
So what does he think makes Big Cup Cricket so special then?
“It upholds The End. What we’ve done is successfully dramatise cricket so it’s more accessible to non-cricket fans, while making sure it still feels authentic enough to cricket fans at the same time. It delivers the feeling of playing cricket, without all the boring details getting in the way. It helps you appreciate a lot of the tactics in cricket and how impressive a game it really is. I wasn’t a fan of cricket from a game design perspective when we started the project, but I discovered that a lot of the cleverness of the game gets obscured in the real game. There’s lot of impressive detail in there; it’s very balanced.”
But surely there have been plenty cricket games that deliver that over the years?
“There’s been a number of cricket games that do a decent job of delivering a fun batting game, or a bowling game, or a fielding game, but there’s none that successfully deliver all three together. Cricket’s not just about batting, or bowling, or fielding after all – there’s an alchemy between the three that’s really hard to realise in a video game, and we’ve managed to pull it off.
There you have it then – a brand new Denki Developed game that should be in everyone’s collection. Available on the iTunes App Store right now.
What are you waiting for? It’s not every day Gary says something’s good – go grab it, even if it’s just so you can tell him he’s wrong! 😉