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Freddie Flintoff All Round Cricket

For: Mobile

Just in time for the Ashes, here's a smashing (in both senses of the word) cricket game

Product: Freddie Flintoff All Round Cricket 06/07 | Developer: Shadow Light Games | Publisher: Player One | Format: Mobile | Genre: Celebrity, Sports | Players: 1 | Networking: Bluetooth | Format: J2ME | File size: 383KB | Reviewed on: N70 other handsets | Version: Europe
 
Freddie Flintoff All Round Cricket 06/07 Mobile, thumbnail 1
You don't get many elephants wandering across cricket pitches mid-innings. At least, I don't think you do. Not being a Sky subscriber, I rely on Test Match Special on the radio for cricket coverage, and the old buffers there have never broken off from discussing Mrs Miggins from Derbyshire's cake to point out a pachyderm on the pitch.

That's just one way Freddie Flintoff All Round Cricket differs from more serious cricket sims, such as Player One's Michael Vaughan's Cricket 06/07. Animals regularly hove into view when you're getting ready to strike – and what's more, you're rewarded for hitting them. The WWF wouldn't approve, but we most certainly do.

Anyway, this game is based on a series of one-on-one battles between all-rounders – you play Freddie, and your cartoon opponents are not-so-subtly disguised versions of famous cricketers: 'Mad Dog Shane' the Aussie spinner, anyone?

You have to bat against their bowling for 24 balls, and then switch. Whoever scores the most runs wins, but if you're bowled or caught three times, you're out.

And it's not about squeezing away quick singles. This is a hoick-fest, where the aim is to batter as many sixes and fours as possible. When batting, an indicator tells you where the ball is going to pitch, while its colour tells you whether it's a straight ball, spinner or seamer.

Pick your spot, press '5' to build up your power, and choose a direction to launch your shot (or get bowled out like an idiot).

Meanwhile, bowling involves stopping a slide to choose what kind of ball you're after from the three mentioned above, and then moving the indicator to place it. Both batting and bowling are easy to get to grips with, although as you unlock better opponents, the increased speed makes batting harder.

The matches take place in unorthodox settings – a park for England, a city street for India, a desert scene for South Africa, a beach for the West Indies, and the outback for Australia. A key part of the game is scoring bonus points by thwacking the ball into objects like cars, boats and buildings.

Meanwhile, if you brain an animal – this is where the elephants come in – you get a Super Shot next go, which scores double points. You can also build up to get a Super Shot by hitting lots of sixes. It works well, and brings an element of targeting to the thumpfest.

Game-wise, you can play a Quick Match against any of the in-game players, although to get the full range you'll have to unlock them by playing the World Tour, which is three separate trophies that are increasingly hard to win. Survival Mode, on the other hand, has you batting against all 12 opponents in order, with each getting three bowls at you but you only having one wicket. Finally, there's a Bluetooth multiplayer mode to compete against a friend.

The game looks polished, with bold cartoon graphics, and fluid animation. It's a sparkling attempt to create a fun and involving mobile game from a sport that isn't ideally suited to the pick up'n'play dynamics of mobile. Whether you're a hardcore cricket fan or a casual observer hoping England will win the Ashes, this is top notch.
 
Freddie Flintoff All Round Cricket
Reviewer photo
Stuart Dredge | 9 November 2006
Hits the opposition for six (okay, for eight out of 10, if you're being pedantic)
 
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