Thwack! Cricket Captain 2015 Released

Summer is the season for noble, genteel sports like the Tour de France and cricket. Player may not smoke pipes while bowling or tuck a pint of stout behind their wicket (a classic display of confidence to intimidate the bowler, that) any longer, but cricket’s still the sport for me.

If you fancy managing a team of fine gentlemen in their sporting endeavours, have a gander at Cricket Captain 2015 [official site], which came out last week.

The latest version of the long-running sim is the same at heart: take over managing a team, picking up players, coaching them, arranging plays, and so on – sports management stuff. Developers Childish Things this year have improved the 3D graphics for matches, added new leagues and teams from around the world, boshed in new stadiums, rolled out classic England vs. Australia scenarios, and plenty more. Its site has a list of all that’s new if you’re curious. It doesn’t sound like a huge upgrade for folks who owned it before, but that’s annualised sports games for you.

A launch discount makes it £17.09 on Steam until Wednesday, but developers Childish Things are selling Steam keys themselves for only £15.19 right now.

Here, have a launch trailer:

12 Comments

  1. DrollRemark says:

    The day after I finally caved in and bought Don Bradman Cricket as well. There’s only so much cricket a gentleman can entertain at once.

  2. Shiloh says:

    Great game. I was just thinking last night it’s about time I upgraded – I’m still on 2011’s version.

    The updated database should be a bit smaller this time round as well I reckon, there’ll only need to be one dismissal type in there for removing Shane Watson.

    • udat says:

      link to youtube.com

      Did you hear Graham Swann singing the new Shane Watson song to the tune of “I love you baby”?

      “lb, lb, lbw” etc.

      • Shiloh says:

        Yep, sure did. I’m not Swanny’s biggest fan I’ll be honest but I enjoyed that – also, Michael Vaughan tweeting the picture of Watto batting with that massive left pad…

        link to dailymail.co.uk

  3. Gothnak says:

    The problem with a Cricket management game is that even though i have been known to watch a lot of cricket, i have no idea how to manage the tactics in a match.

    For example, my knowledge amounts to:

    While Bowling:
    1. Get the fast bowlers to use a new ball
    2. Bring the fielders in to put pressure on the batsmen and force them to go for big shots, or out to prevent the batsmen for scoring runs.

    While Batting:
    1. Play defensively initially while you get yourself in then become more aggressive as you get in or if you are in a run chase.
    2. Knowing when to declare to leave a difficult target for your opponents

    That’s about it. How would i bowl at various batsmen, how would i set the field, would i choose to bat or field on a toss, what tactics change with the weather, no idea…

    When means when i have played Cricket Captain in the past i have won & lost with no real reason as to why…

    • CidL says:

      Yes, exactly. And it’s a shame because I’d love a game like this as I’ve loved Football Manager over the years, but there needs to be some sort of assistant who’ll take over the more intricate stuff during matches (some ‘use whatever field settings won’t get us clattered for 18 an over’ tick box).

      • Shiloh says:

        Well yes, but the point is you’re the on-field captain as well, so you’re forced to make the decisions as you would in real life. It’s not 100% realistic of course, but the reason I love this game is because it makes you think about your field placings. Should I play conservatively and defend our total, or is now the time to go on the attack and capture the initiative etc…

        Batting’s the easy bit to be honest (knowing which bowlers to put to the sword becomes obvious pretty quickly), the devil is very much in the bowling and fielding.

        • Gothnak says:

          Ah, but without initially knowing how to do it, you can’t actually learn.

          My knowledge in football is quite a bit better (And for F1 management games it is pretty good) so i think i just enjoy those games better.

          It’d be great if when a batsman comes in, he has a bunch of traits, and you can click on the traits and see what they mean and what the game suggests you can do to counteract them, and then you can choose which things to deal with and which to ignore, because as in all good games, you can’t do everything at once.

          But not knowing what traits players have, or how to deal with them, makes the tactics a bit pointless.

    • FurryLippedSquid says:

      “How would i bowl at various batsmen”

      The way any captain does. Watch hundreds of hours of footage to discover their weaknesses. Even on the day you should be aiming to exploit their weaknesses. As Cook did over the weekend.

    • iucounu says:

      As I remember International Cricket Captain, batsmen were distinguished from each other mainly by their preferences along two axes (strong leg-side, or mildly back-foot, that sort of thing) and their averages. There might have been aggressive/passive and spin/seam preferences too, perhaps. The bowlers didn’t have preferences like that which could inform your captaincy, just averages. So you’d set your bowlers to bowl, say, shortish on the off-side if that was what the batsman didn’t like, and set the fields accordingly.

      For the batsmen, you’d start cautiously and slowly increase their aggression the longer they were in. For the bowlers, I can’t even remember if you could set aggression, just the general line. Then you click the button, it generates at most an over, and you carry on.

      It generated believable cricket scores given the statistics at hand, but it didn’t feel particularly like playing cricket yourself, just simming games over which you had a very abstract level of control. You weren’t so much a captain as a Director of Cricket. And cricket games that try to let the player actual bat and bowl (Brian Lara Cricket sorts of things) don’t seem to work very well either, because nobody has ever been able to design a cricket *playing* sim that can square the circle of generating plausible matches while relying on player skill. The less abstract your sim of cricket, the harder this gets.

      Cricket’s never had a good FIFA SOCCER analogue and it’s never had a comparable FOOTBALL MANAGER analogue. I think those are two of the hardest game design problems I can think of. (Much as I like this series, but it never devoured my life like FM.)

  4. CidL says:

    The trouble with this series is you have to go to maddening depths to get your team to win a game. I’m a lazy bastard who would like to coach and pick the team, decide order batsmen go in, decide on bowling changes and basic things like that. But changing the field placings for individual opposition batsmen? Deciding what line each bowler wangs the ball down? I like that they’re there if people want them, but Jesus, I can’t be arsed with that level of detail. And without doing all I seem to get battered every game and usually give up after I lose the inevitable pre-season friendly to Middlesex seconds.

    Mind you, I do play as Somerset.

  5. JackMultiple says:

    Shoot. I misread the title as “Captain Cricket” and was all fired up to be a hip-hopping crimefighter of the underfootworld.