Cricket Through The Ages is a physics-driven arcade game where you only need to use one button. Developed by Free Lives and published by Devolver Digital, this title is short and sweet, though can be frustrating at times.

First, let me begin by saying the graphics were simple, yet pleasing. I enjoyed the bright, colorful ambiance throughout the ages. The music was pleasant, and the narrator’s voiceover work was on point. Not to mention the sound effects were satisfying, as well. Hearing a rock clonk someone’s head was funny, and I loved the sound of the audience clapping when a match completed.

The gameplay is straightforward, using only one button at a time. I played in handheld mode, which effectively utilizes the touch screen. So, I only needed to tap (and sometimes hold) the screen. This mechanic and the short rounds mean you’ll get through this game quickly. It took me between 1.5 to 2 hours to complete all eight sections.

The main premise of this game is to go over the history of Cricket, the first section being “Cricket Through The Ages.” It teaches you the basics and how to play the game as it was originally invented. (Honestly, I still don’t fully understand the game of Cricket.) This mode also takes the time to teach you the controls – tap to move, or sometimes you’ll hold the button down and then release to throw an object. The game will pin you against NPCs, throwing objects at one another to see who gets out first. You’ll need to win a handful of rounds against multiple NPCs before the game moves on, unlocking the next section.

Since there’s only one button and it’s just you and one NPC at a time, these rounds last about five seconds. Due to the ragdoll physics, you’ll sometimes get each other out (or you’ll get yourself out). Also, you both might fall over unable to do anything, resulting in a tie. There are no lives or timers. If you lose a match, the game will make you do it again.

The next section is Ash’s World Cup, which is essentially the same thing. This time, you’re in a tournament. Once you win all the rounds against four other teams, the next section is unlocked. Most of the sections are, more or less, the same. Cricket Through The Ages tries to make things a tad more interesting by shrinking the characters, making them giant, putting them in slow motion, and other effects. The objects would switch up, too. Instead of a cricket bat, your character might have a golf club, pool noodle, baseball bat, and others. Instead of a cricket ball, you could have a bowling ball, soccer ball, snake, rock, and more. However, these changes didn’t add anything to the gameplay, especially since each round lasts a handful of seconds.

I won’t go through every mode of this game, because they’re all quite similar. However, some were slightly different. For example, the World War game had you tap the screen to advance forward toward an enemy. You can hold the screen down to toss a grenade. The point was to move forward until you reached the enemy line, resulting in a win. This was more frustrating than fun due to the ragdoll movement. I’d always trip over the bodies on the ground, falling over, or my grenade would bounce off of something, thus coming back toward me, and I’d blow myself up. This too is tournament style, so you must win this four times before moving to the next section of the game.

Cricket Through The Ages also has a Games of Olympus mode, which still utilizes the one-button gameplay mechanic. If you’re tired of playing Cricket, you can try your hand at archery, swimming, climbing, pole jumping, and eight other sports. But you can’t choose which one you want to play; you’ll get to play all of them in a specific order, and it’s not as easy as it looks. The one-button mechanic mixed with ragdoll movement simply didn’t work for some of these sports. The climbing was nearly impossible, and I won the gold medal for swimming by accident. (You’re supposed to dive into the pool, but I’d always fall into it.)

This game allows for two-player co-op on a single Switch system. I asked my sister to play a couple rounds with me and while we did get in some laughs, we quickly grew bored after a few matches. There’s no versus mode where you choose which games you want to play. The narrator still goes through the motions of explaining the history going in order of the game modes. You can choose a specific mode once you’ve unlocked it, but it’s the same every time. There’s no leaderboard, either. Cricket Through The Ages is a simple, mindless game.

I wouldn’t expect to add this to your rotation at game night with friends. You might have about twenty minutes of fun before getting bored. Given the colorful graphics and effortless mechanics, I can see a younger audience having fun with this game.