Online Social Cricket Game CricVille Hits Facebook, Courtesy Zapak

Zapak, a gaming portal owned by the Reliance ADA Group has launched CricVille, an online social cricket game on the social networking site Facebook. The game was first launched in the open Beta testing phase, before its official launch.

CricVille broadly follows the IPL pattern game play where a user gets to own a cricket club and they can then works towards making it better. The player can work as a club manager and build the club's city and stadium, after which he/she can also hire a coach to train and upgrade players' performance (what innovation on the company's part, we have never heard of such a thing anywhere, except in the 'Manager Mode' of the official FIFA games).

The game starts with a guide (similar to CityVille) called VJ Maulya who coincidently (as if there is such a thing as coincidence) looks like and has an identical name as liquor baron Vijay Mallya welcoming players to the world of CricVille with a message that reads, "So you want to live my life? The life of a billionaire cricket club owner- managing cricket stars and celebs, nail-biting matches, cheerleaders, after-parties.... Phew! Its hard work! Today is your lucky day! I can help you start on your path to glory and riches!"

Players can choose from an array of modes to play which include 'challenges' where the users can throw challenges to their friends on Facebook Tournaments which help increase the user's rankings and in turn help the player's chances of winning Gold, Silver and Bronze trophies.

Options of practice matches have also been provided which can help in improving the overall skills (again like FIFA). The game also allows users to upgrade their players (to score over their friends) by improving their batting, bowling and fitness (how did they come up with so many unique features).

Manish Agarwal, chief operating officer, digital business, Reliance Entertainment said, "Cricville follows an easy and competitive gameplay which will appeal not only to cricket fans but also to other gaming enthusiasts on Facebook. Zapak wants to tap the Indian themed games segment which offer universal appeal on Facebook."

This is Zapak's second initiative in social gaming, first one being Zapak Tambola. Zapak has also launched Zapak Plus, a subscription based gaming service in which a user can pay a Rs 99 per month and play full version PC Games for 30 days for unlimited minutes.

Incidentally, there is another online browser based cricket massively multiplayer online (MMO) game by the name same name on Facebook. This game has been developed by ZealCity Studios, an online interactive entertainment company based out of Chennai. The start-up was founded by Adithyaa Srikkanth (Founder and CEO) and focuses on building games for social networks, multiplayer virtual worlds and on the mobile platforms. This game is promoted by former Indian cricketer Krish Srikkanth, who has also provided the in game commentary for the game.