Thursday, 6 December 2012

Specvent Calendar Day 5 - Test Match

Test Match (CRL, 1983)

This is the first entry I'm not going to recommend you rush out, download and play, because frankly you'll be bored silly. There's not much to do, most of the choices you do make are fairly obvious, and there's not even any AI, so unless you can find a like-minded soul to suffer through 400 overs of occasionally pressing Y or N or selecting a bowler you were pretty much playing with, erm, sorry, against, yourself.

It's included as my Day 5 for three reasons; first, because to a stats geek like me any form of cricket is golden, and I somewhere still have the scorecards to prove it, and second because it did in all honesty form a large part of my playing time over several years.

Or at least it did once I'd completed Reason 3 -  remaking the game. Oh, yes. 90% of the game was written in BASIC, and it was very easy to break into, edit and then resave. Originally I'd done this just to save having to retype updated teams in every time, but then I started looking at the logic, which was of course all based on random numbers, and started to correct some obvious faults. For instance the batsmen's likelihood of getting out was based on his number in the lineup and fatigue as measured by his runs scored in the inning, such that a number 5 batsman who has just scored a century would be as likely to be out next ball as a number 9 who's yet to score. Arrant nonsense, and it led to the chances of a double ton being next to none. And once that was adjusted, there was the bowling stats to fix, then maybe adding in a little bias on the relative strength of the teams, and so on and so on... in fact I spent more time tinkering with the engine than I ever did playing the blessed  thing!

As such, reviews are next to irrelevant, though various round ups noted that for all its flaws it was still a better cricket sim than the other attempts out there (I played them all and they were all unplayable.) Now I'm off to see if old Pringers can weasel one of the Aussie openers out or if it's Edgbaston '89 all over again...

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