Have you ever dreamed of hitting Ellyse Perry for 6? Well now you can, with Big Bash 16 – the new, completely free, mobile game from the folks behind Don Bradman Cricket – which gives you the chance to have your own Big Bash in the palm of your hand, playing through a WBBL season with any one of the 8 women’s teams… or even one of the men’s teams, if you are that way inclined!
The first thing to say is that this game is genuinely “free” – there are no in-app purchases tugging at the purse-strings, or “third-party” ads.
All the players are present and correct, as far as we can see; but some of the likenesses are better than others. In the Hobart Hurricanes line-up, Hayley Matthews is spot-on and instantly recognisable; but Heather Knight is “generic girl with ponytail”… and even that is wrong! (Hint for next year’s BB17: Heather always bats with her hair tied up guys!)
This being cricket, there is batting and bowling to do; but all the fielding is automatic. Batting is fun and pacey, swiping across the screen to execute different shots; but bowling is a bit tedious and clunky – you have to place a marker for the length, and then when the ball is delivered you can then swipe to add outrageously “arcadey” swing or spin… and whatever you do Ellyse Perry still smashes it to the boundary, so at least that is realistic!!
Overall, you’d have to admit that on a gaming level, Big Bash 16 suffers from the problem of all cricket games, which is that it is really hard to replicate bowling in a manner that is in any way intuitive or exciting; and it just serves to remind us why the “king” of all mobile cricket games – Stick Cricket – dispensed with it entirely, and just focussed on the batting!
But still, the chance to play through a season with your favourite WBBL team feels like a another one of the Big Bash’s Big Breakthroughs – and considering the price (did we say… it’s free?) it’s more than worth every penny!