Review by Matt Harrison (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Armchair Cricket is a 4-player card game, played in pairs. Each game consists of one or more innings. For each innings, 2 players bat, 2 bowl. Innings may be limited by overs or until 10 wickets fall, or the batting team declare.
There are about 6 different suits, with cards ranked 1 to 13 in each suit. The game is played in overs of 6 tricks, with the same 'bowling' player playing cards to whichever batter is currently facing. New cards are drawn after each trick. The bowler plays a card, and the batter responds. If the card is higher and of the same suit, run(s) are scored, if higher but of a different suit or lower but of the same suit, then no effect (dot ball). If the batter has no card of the same suit, or higher card of any suit, they lose a wicket. If runs are scored, the bowler has the option to play extra cards (fielding cards) to limit runs, catch the ball, run the batter out. There are lots of other little rules to simulate many of the various rules of cricket.
On balance, its a pretty good game, not a simuation, but produces a believeable feel when playing. As a bowler you spend overs bowling poor balls to build up a good hand (lots of the same suit), then pummell a batsman. And then just when you're about to force a wicket, the batsman sneaks a lucky single and you have to play to the other batting player whose hand hasn't been weakened.
The only real downside is that is does tend to take rather too long to play, with even a single innings, 40 over limited game taking about 2-3 hours. I've lost count of the number of games abandoned. One innings ends, you go for food, alcohol whatever, and then never play the second innings.
The Game Cabinet - email@example.com - Ken Tidwell