If there is one thing that brings the people of the South Asian region together it is their thirst and love for good cricket. Introduced by the British during their colonial era rule over the subcontinent, this game has become an attraction for local inhabitants who support their teams as they face off against each other in International matches. Then there are domestic Leagues (The football equivalent of these is “The Premier League” or “La Liga”) where a number of teams from within each country test their mettle against each other.
Nautilus games, a gaming company from India has produced a game called Real Cricket 2019 and it comes with an impressive roster, full of players from the National teams and various domestic Leagues like the IPL (Indian Premier League) and PSL (Pakistan Super League). It is available for Ios and Android and has been downloaded more than 10 Million times, making it an absolute success.
First of all the soundtrack is downright awesome rock music, and I haven’t minded much being on the title screen while the music simply plays on and on at the same time as I simultaneously enjoy other things too (and my battery goes out).
Real Cricket can require a few matches with the AI on a very easy setting to grasp, but when you do start learning, the enjoyment is fulfilling. I do wish I could make the game length shorter by choosing to play for five overs from the start instead of the ten which sometimes gets too time consuming.
But you can also do that later on as you play and advance in level which is the main way to unlock most content in the game without expending real cash. You also earn in-game cash rewards each time you beat an opponent in either single-player or multiplayer. This fantastical cash can be expended on buying new cricket grounds or stadiums rather than constantly using two base game locations for your matches, one that is Mumbai, and the other that is a London.
So there is a very congenial reward system for playing the game regularly and makes the player really want to make the extra effort to become a cricketing pro!
But if leveling up seems too tedious for you and you want a head start there are still options for you. Everything except stadiums can be unlocked with real life cash. Diverse tournaments, both domestic and International can to be unlocked by expending it. In UAE currency the highest was the World Cup 2019 tournament for 76.99 Dirhams and the lowest 10.55 Dirhams for the Caribbean Premier League. You always have the alternative way of unlocking them by leveling up but you need to play a lot to be able to level up and unlock new game modes.
The price for purchasing objects can be high for the Indian gamer, but this game does not aim at just Indian cricket fans, but all cricket-lovers across the world, from Australia to West Indies and England to South Africa. Anyone can play this game and they will be sure to enjoy it. And being a sports game it can be enjoyed by children and can teach them about their Nations most loved sport.
The roster is reality based and includes Indian cricketing heroes like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni other than the full squad of the Indian team. It also has lots of Pakistani players like Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik. The rosters from other countries as well as the domestic leagues are equally as accurate.
The gameplay can be overwhelming at the start for the uninitiated. When batting you have to time your shots perfectly, stand at the right spot (in accordance with where the ball will land and how it will spin or swing), choose the direction of your shot and select how you will play each ball (like front-foot or back-foot). This had been difficult for me even after playing three games. But eventually, once you get the hang of it and improve your reflexes in harmony with the game, you can be a specialist batsman.
The same goes for bowling. You have to choose which area of the pitch your ball will land at. This isn’t easy at first. If you slide the bowling circle on the pitch too fast or slow you will bowl a wide. The timing has to be perfect before you press the ok button. Then you choose whether the ball spins or not, how much it spins and which direction it spins in, among other balling techniques dependent on the type of bowler.
Then a bar appears at the top with a red tip that warns you of no balls. Experimenting and making mistakes too is part of the games learning curve so be sure to keep trying and don’t give up!
The only thing that I found lacking in the game is that I could not select a team from all of the eight IPL teams. Instead there were five. For a game developed by an Indian company this is an error. Though Desi gamers, both casual and professional stand strongly by their own countries games, often even having an inflated view of the game just because it came from their country of origin I don’t think this mistake is forgivable. Indian gamers could be annoyed by this even though the game has International appeal too.
I do not know if having five teams for IPL is a design choice or an error or even absentmindedness on part of the developers. I am leaning on it being one of the last two. But India, on account of having a huge population and cricket being the Nation’s most loved sport, has the largest population of cricket crazy fans in the world. And they will surely notice this.
There is also the problem of battery consumption and over-heating. This game eats away at your battery very quickly but its depth makes it a brilliant game, allowing us to ignore how the battery depletes as we play.
Nautilus also is no EA. They couldn’t buy licenses for the various National Premier League teams. So the IPL, PSL and other domestic tournament teams have different names even though the players are real to the best of my knowledge.
Still this is a great game. I would recommend it to anyone who is fascinated by the game of cricket, just interested in learning more about the game, or enjoys sports games. It is a game Desi game developers should learn from and announces passionately, that there are pearls hidden in the sand in the field of South Asian gaming. This is by far not only one of the best Indian games but also Desi games. Nautilus should be proud of the game they have produced, and I have already mentioned the limitations and how lacking in resources the common Desi developer is. I am sure Nautilus too had a lack of resources but they turned their disadvantage into an advantage by focusing on the niche cricket market (which Desis love) and made full use of it.
This game proves that good games can be developed, even with nominal resources and by smaller developers (We have the case of Concerned Apes Stardew Valley and King Digital Entertainment’s Candy Crush to vouch for that when talking about international gaming). This is why this is the revolution in Desi gaming gamers have dreamed for.
Review Platform: Android
- Impressive title screen music
- Good roster
- Many game modes to play with.
- Good reward system. As you level up you can unlock tournaments and different match types. As you gain in game cash you can buy new stadiums.
- Additional depth makes playing so much more fun.
- Battery-life does not last long when playing this game. The phone also seems to overheat when playing.
- Domestic teams have unreal names because of licensing issues.
- Some IPL teams are missing.