South African-made Cricket Through the Ages took its place next to gaming industry giants like Ubisoft, Konami, and Capcom on Apple Arcade, Apple’s video game subscription service for iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and macOS devices. The platform had just over 100 exclusive titles, which are free to subscribers and can be played offline.
Cricket Through the Ages is a single button physics game, which combines major milestones in human history, cricket, and a wild sense of humour that is the hallmark of all Free Lives games. Prototyped over the course of a single game jam (the gaming developers’ version of a hackathon), the game was inspired by South Africa’s abiding love for cricket, although the connection to the sport is often warped. The “bowler” can find themselves delivering anything from an apple to a snake, while the “batsman” hits the missile away with a club, sword, or whatever else is relevant to the historical period.
Screenshot: Cricket Through the Ages
Cricket Through the Ages’ appearance on Arcade is a major coup for the South African game development space, with the platform restricted to games that push the boundaries of storytelling and design. Free Lives founder Evan Greenwood points out, “Most game-related conferences, where developers get the opportunity to show their work and tap into global networks are hosted in the US and Europe, which are difficult to access.”
The locally developed game is a testament to the kind of development talent available in South Africa. Cricket Through the Ages’ presence on Apple Arcade could prove a much-needed catalyst for a local gaming space that faces some serious challenges.
Image: Cricket Through the Ages