International Cricket

Australia, 1992

Videogame Videogames
Photograph by Egmont Contreras

International Cricket is one of the only Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) games designed specifically for the Australian market. Melbourne-based Beam Software recreated the cricket pitch in pixels for this iconic game, which simulates a One Day International match and is playable by one to six people, in either single games or round-robin style contests.

Players can bat, bowl and choose to play as big-name cricketers of the day… sort of. Beam Software didn’t get the licenses to use real players, but if you squint hard enough at the character called H. Mervin, you can imagine it’s Merv Hughes.

The game’s AI was notoriously easy to predict but the game’s lack of difficulty didn’t dampen its popularity. Beam Software was also a little difficult to predict – despite working with Nintendo, they cheekily hid images of Sonic the Hedgehog in the game, who was the mascot of rival Sega.

Curator Notes

Released in 1992, International Cricket is the second of the Australian Sports Games that that Beam Software self-published for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES ) through their publishing arm Laser Beam Entertainment. It followed on from Aussie Rules Footy in the same year.

International Cricket is a sport simulation of one-day cricket.

In addition to its single match mode for one or two players, the World Series mode that supports one, two, three or four players featuring teams competing in a round robin format.

The game starts with a coin toss to see who bats. The loser of the toss must then place their team on the field. The camera is in 3rd person for the batting and bowling, switching to a birds-eye view when the ball is hit. The gameplay features a variety of cutscenes to celebrate play including “Out for a Duck”, “Bowled” and the classic “Howzat”. These are nicely executed as Beam had developed in-house a system to produce quality audio and animation for the NES.

Dr Helen Stuckey | Play it Again Project

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