Tennis as a possible metaphor for life: you would give up love for success, fame and riches.

OK, so that's a cynical way of looking at things, but you try watching another five set Henman heartbreaker at Wimbledon later this June without asking whether you would or not.

It's a question you may return to when playing Virtua Tennis Mobile Edition, only it'll be you on centre court rather than Tiger Tim. This is a game that's instantly accessible, that draws you in with its intuitive gameplay and then encourages you to stay with a depth and replayability that's rarely seen on mobile.

It starts off with you creating a virtual self to play as in the game. You can customise your appearance and attributes from male or female, tall and thin or short and muscular, and even choose the colour of your shirt. And it's as this representation of yourself that you'll tackle the main aspect of Virtua Tennis Mobile Edition: the Tournaments.

There are ten on offer, spread around the globe and taking in different court surfaces. There's no official licence involved, so there aren't any named players or real-life majors, but there are some neat national tie-ins: you play on grass in the UK event (just like Wimbledon) while the French takes place on clay (a la Roland Garros). The hard courts of Africa and the US round out the picture and, just like the real thing, there's a different feel to each.

It's all indicative of the detail that Virtua Tennis Mobile Edition packs into its diminutive frame, but it's not at the expense of baffling the newcomer. You really can be up-and-running, virtual racket in hand, in five short minutes. It's that well-pitched.

Central to this is the control system, which makes the game simple enough to play with one thumb. You move around the court with the thumbstick and hit the ball by depressing it, or hitting '5' on your keypad. While you can lob with '0', you won't often need to, leaving you to play with just the one button.

That doesn't restrict the range of your shots, though, as you can add after touch to influence the ball's flight. Pressing left or right after hitting it directs the ball in the relevant direction, while pressing up or down imparts spin. Press up to send a powerful top-spin shot sailing towards the baseline or press down to play a sneaky back-spin shot or, depending upon where you are on the court, a drop-shot.

If you're rankling over this apparent lack of control and the involvement of the game in your shot selection, don't: it feels almost as natural as playing the game for real and doesn't spoil your enjoyment one jot.

It enhances it, in fact, as the game is as fast and fluid as a Federer serve. The simplistic controls mean you don't need to worry about pressing myriad buttons in order to achieve the shot you want, leaving you free to concentrate on your position on court, which makes a big difference to how successful your shots are.

In short, Virtua Tennis Mobile Edition is a brilliant game that flatters at the same time as it challenges. The AI players are well-graded, so you start off with easier foes before advancing onto more hardened veterans, and you never feel as though you're not in with a chance of winning.

That alone is enough to keep you coming back for more and we've not even mentioned the training mode that helps you improve your virtual self, the shop where you can spend your prize money on new clothes, kit and doubles partners, or the one-off Vs. mode where you can play any of the 20 fictitious in-game opponents.

About the only thing missing from Virtua Tennis Mobile Edition's game is a two-player Bluetooth mode. But, to be honest, it's not a major failing, not when the game is already as much fun to play as it is. And besides, you'll become so engrossed your friends and family will soon forget about you anyway.

Love? Who needs love when you've got a backhand cross-court winner to perfect.