It’s summer in the southern hemisphere right now and that means one thing - Cricket! If your country still has any semblance of loyalty to the Queen of England then you’ll know all about the pure joy that comes when connecting the willow to the leather. There’s no shortage of cricket video games making a name for themselves in the market at the moment but Big Ant Studios’ Big Bash 2016 breaks new ground without building something unnecessarily complicated.
The Big Bash cricket tournament is Australia’s premier Twenty20 domestic competition and has captured the hearts and minds of sports fans right across the globe. Why am I telling you this? Part of the win that is Big Bash 2016 is due to the continued growth of the competition it is based on. Short, sharps bursts of entertainment are what the Big Bash, and plenty of other Twenty20 cricket competitions around the world, boast as their main selling point. Similarly, Big Bash 2016 is all action, all the time, and there’s no mucking about.
Fans of the flash and mobile game Stick Cricket will feel right at home with Big Bash 2016. Where Big Bash 2016 takes an edge over its stick-figure competitor is in branding and rights to team and player names. As the game has been developed in conjunction with Cricket Australia, the names for the eight teams in the tournament as well as every single male and female squad member are a big part of the game. The fact that it boasts the entire female roster and competition by putting it on the same level as the men’s competition is fantastic and could potentially be a first in a sports video game. Both the men’s and women’s tournaments garner big names, attention, and money, so it’s only fitting that they’re both in the spotlight for the game.
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Gameplay is fairly straightforward. Both batting and bowling work off the premise of a single swipe which you’ll need to swipe in the direction you want to hit/bowl and time the end of the swipe perfectly to get maximum power. Bowlers can put swing or spin on the ball to add an extra layer of difficulty, but the game doesn’t bring too much more complication into it and it’s easy enough to get the hang of. Three different difficulty settings draw out the process of mastering the game a little but after a few hours, you’ll find yourself notching up scores of 500+ from just 20 overs. Don’t worry, though, it’s still great fun!
The Big Bash is all about bright, striking colours and Big Bash 2016 certainly doesn’t skimp in that area. All eight teams are easily identifiable and players have enough differentiation to make it relatively obvious which player is which. The team at Big Ant Studios used state of the art motion capture technology to capture both male and female movements, so everything flows smoothly on screen despite the wide variety of potential outcomes available. The game certainly isn’t going to win any graphics awards, but it runs smoothly and is pleasant to look at for long periods of time, which is all you can ask.
The sound is great, too, if not a little one-dimensional. Hitting every ball to the boundary is great, but you’ll probably get a little sick of hearing the same old cheers and fireworks. That’s not so much a fault of the game, though.
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While there’s no story in the traditional sense of what we expect in a video game, the adventure of guiding your favourite Big Bash team to ultimate glory is more than enough to keep us excited! Big Bash 2016 is the perfect game for any cricket fan who needs a casual game to kill some time or something to do in between overs during the season. Simple, easy to use controls, and an accurate recreation of Big Bash assets that properly represents the players and the game round out a quality product from Cricket Australia and Big Ant Games. The game is free to download on iOS and Android, and it’s certainly worth sacrificing the storage space.
All body images are screenshots captured by the author.