Cricket Through The Ages Review

I start this review with a confession. I don’t know the first thing about Cricket. I’m talking about the sport, not the wireless company. I know nothing about them, either, but I digress. When I saw Cricket Through The Ages pop up in our world of wonder (That’s what I’m calling our Slack Channel, Eric), I didn’t know what I was in store for. I saw two characters flailing about trying to hit each other with bats, balls, snakes, rackets, swords, and even grenades. What does any of this have to do with Cricket? Well I’m not here to tell you. 24Bits Games and Free Lives is. As someone who has played games like Gang Beasts and Nidhogg, Cricket Through the Ages fits right in. Devolver Digital is all about the weird, but they may have hit me in the face with a Cricket bat for this one. 

Cricket, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica machine, is a game that is played with a bat and ball with two competing sides of 11 players. known as the pitch, that is 22 yards (20.12 metres) by 10 feet (3.04 metres) wide. Two sets of three sticks, called wickets, are set in the ground at each end of the pitch. Across the top of each wicket lie horizontal pieces called bails. The sides take turns at batting and bowling (pitching); each turn is called an “innings” (always plural). Sides have one or two innings each, depending on the prearranged duration of the match, the object being to score the most runs. The bowlers, delivering the ball with a straight arm, try to break (hit) the wicket with the ball so that the bails fall. This is one of several ways that the batsman is dismissed, or put out. A bowler delivers six balls at one wicket (thus completing an “over”), then a different player from his side bowls six balls to the opposite wicket. The batting side defends its wicket. You can go read more for yourself. My head just exploded.

The game, built like a Wes Anderson film, narrates at you from the jump. Tells you that 10,000 years ago, humanity teetered on the brink of extinction. Then you are a green T-rex that has zero control over his limbs or head. The game then tells you to tap the one button, whatever that is, to run full speed toward your opponent, a caveman. You crush him. The next screen is you as the caveman, with a nothing in your hand, while the aforementioned T-Rex is now coming after you. You’re trampled. Then the narrator says “Cricket Was Invented”. You’re the caveman again, this time armed with a boulder. You have to wind up, with the same button you used to run, and throw the boulder at the T-Rex. I was here for 5 minutes too long, because it doesn’t let you advance until you smack the T-Rex with the boulder. If you don’t get it right, the game tries to show you in slow motion, but I’m already frustrated, because WHAT IS HAPPENING!?

Then, you and your opponent both have weapons to fling at each other. These are one and done hits. First to 5 wins. And this is a physics based game, so if you toss something and it bounces off the screen and hits your opponent in the back of the head, you get a point. If for some odd reason you have a snake, you can just let the snake go, and will likely get that point for you. But if you get hit first, the snake will fall out of your hand, and bite you, giving your opponent the point. It then starts going through the ages. Rocks turn into stone axes. Then there are sticks that you have to swing and hope you hit someone. There’s a sword, and a guy on a horse. Then you’re a caveman against a crusader on a horse, and you have a rock. You can use the rock to knock out the horse, and knock the rider off, and get the point, which has now gone up to the threshold of 10. The narrator says that Cricket was perfected in 1866. But then you’re now a batter, swinging at balls from your opponent. You still following? Because I am LOST!

The narrator comes back in, again, to tell you Cricket eventually evolved enough to be in space. I just lost to the computer 10-5, but no worries, there are no stakes. There is now a prompt on the screen to tap something, in order to make a space shuttle launch into space. Except this doesn’t tell you what to tap, so the space shuttle keeps exploding when it hits the walls of the screen. After about 15 times, I get the ship to space, and now I’m a character playing nothing Britannica described above. I have laser swords and red orbs, and now I’m cutting people up. Then I’m back on a destroyed Earth, and I’m a crab person? Same first to 10 situation. Who you are and object you and your opponent hold are randomly generated up to this point. Maybe that’s something I should’ve said earlier. But that doesn’t change the fact that this is the first 15 minutes of the game. And you HAVE to play through this to unlock the actual game mode. And with the T-rex running through the crab person, we’re back to the title screen.

The game then opens up, but still not to the fullest. The first thing that opens up is something called Ash’s World Cup, and this game really wants to be Cricket. I will try to explain this. You pick a country to represent, and the game randomly picks a game point. Then, you are at bat, and your opponent gets to pitch. They get up to 6 pitches. If you hit it out of the screen, you score points. If you hit the opponent with the ball, you sometimes score points. If the opponent hits the wickets, then you’re put out, and the side changes immediately. This also occurs if you get hit by the pitch and fall backwards onto the wickets. You will be using the same wind up physics from the previous levels. Sometimes you actually get a bowling ball to pitch, and sometimes the bowling ball is pitched at you. You can block this, but you can’t hit it anywhere for any point value. There are also different modes the game just randomly throws at you, like slow motion, or “Batsmen”, where you just swing bats at each other. You can even bit points for hitting a flying foul. And I mean a bird. Once you defeat four other teams, however that may be, you get invited to Buckingham Palace, to meet, and get decapitated, by a Queen. I still don’t know. 

The game goes on to unlock other versions of Cricket. The first is a soccer variant, where, you guessed it, you are now pitching various things with your feet. Same rules as Ash’s World Cup, except the physics are different. The soccer ball goes flying off the screen for more fun things, I guess. Playing the computer in this mode went fast. Again, once you go through those teams, it’s back to the palace, and then back to the title screen. There is a Badminton version, where you can hit a birdie back and forth with a racquet. The way you get points here, is by it hitting the floor twice. Again, there are random selections of balls and racquets, but you get the idea. It’s no longer Cricket. I’m starting to realize that the game really just wants you to play it. Give it a chance. No advantages. Just a randomized bunch of chaos. And now because you stuck with it, you get to play the World War version. 

In the World War level, you pick your country again, and then use the one button to advance towards your opponent only visually armed with a bayonet. You can advance toward the opposition and rip them apart. Once you or they get taken out, there’s an automatic respawn. The object of this game isn’t about points. It’s about making it to the enemy line at the end of the screen. What the game does tell you  is that you can chuck grenades at your opponent, which probably have the funniest physics of the game. Again, this is an instant kill, but sometimes the grenades can be hit back, a la Cricket, and you can blow yourself up. I may have enjoyed this mode a little too much, and this is the charm of the game. Until I get invited back to the Buckingham Palace. 

Quantum Cricket has no points. It’s randomly generated jousting. First to 10 wins. And this is probably the game with the lowest stakes. This one is all luck, no skill. Swing, and advance toward your opponent. Knock them out. It’s like Street Fighter if the characters were puppets with zero special moves. The Games of Olympus takes you through 10 events like weight lifting, swimming, and wall climbing. You try for a medal for each one, depending on how well you do. Then there is the best game on here, called Ultra Cricket. Ultra Cricket tells you that you have to score 42 points, twice, in a series of Cricket through the Ages games. In order to see who goes up to bat first, there’s a best two out of three series in the joust version. Then you get up to 6 tries to score points, unless your wickets get knocked down. Then it’s back to trying to fight for batting privilege. It’s the most ridiculous part of the game. I would put my friends through their paces in this mode alone, and tell them nothing. 

I think that’s the overall idea of the game. It’s bare bones at it’s core. It’s not here to teach you how to play Cricket. If you take anything you learned from this game, and take it to a game of Cricket, you will be mortified. This game is literally to have mindless fun with the friends in the same room. I think watching people play this would be way more entertaining than playing it alone. My advice: play it alone to unlock the modes, and then take it to your friend’s house to settle debates or choose who goes first in something else. 

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.

First appeared on

Leave a Comment