Available now on mobile, Jimmy White Snooker Legend is a solid portable snooker experience whose main appeal for many will be the possibility to slide into the Whirlwind's waistcoat and play competitions and challenges all over the world. We caught up with the man himself at our local snooker club. Okay, it was a swanky London hotel…
Pocket Gamer: You've been in a few games over the years. What's the story with this one?
Jimmy White: I've only been involved in the Archer McLean games, and I've been approached by many other games, but they've not been the same quality as Archer's games and this game. With this game, you can improve as you go along. My son is fairly good now, he's only ten. It's a lot to do with the level of the cue and how much you hit it. It's just a fantastic game, I'm proud to be involved in it.You've mainly done console games before and this is your first mobile phone game. What are the benefits to someone like you?
Well I'm always travelling so I can play the game, or anybody can play the game when they're on the train, if you're in a passenger seat, traffic jam, anywhere, you know. Just try and beat your own score.Not while you're driving though?
No, not while you're driving, no.
You actually appear in the game as yourself. Are you quite happy with your look? Was that based on 1983?
No! Well done, thanks. I'm terminating this interview, I'm going. No, actually that picture was done in Victoria about a year ago. It's amazing what they can do with a bit of make-up.
In the game you play in different locations. Obviously the locations don't make a great deal of difference; it's a snooker table. But you can play in China. What do you make of the whole new breed of Chinese players?
It's unbelievable. When Ding [Jun Hui] played Ronnie O'Sullivan in China there were 120 million who watched it. That is just phenomenal.
How many watched Ronnie do the press conference [where he famously asked for "a nosh"]?
I am definitely not talking about that. Not seen it… He gets bored very quickly and he wears his heart on his sleeve, and he wouldn't want to hurt anyone. I've known him since he was 12. If you knew him, you'd know there was no way he'd intentionally want to hurt somebody. He was just bored, he was talking with his mate, and the stupid thing was, he didn't think. It's a press conference; they've all got interpreters. He thought that they didn't understand him.
Do you see yourself and O'Sullivan as kindred spirits? You play in a similar way.
You know, Alex Higgins used to play where he'd attack the game and create chances, then you had myself playing at speed, then you've got Ronnie O'Sullivan who just wants to clear the balls up straight away. And people want to see that in every sport but you have to have the slow players in any sport. He's got controlled flair, Ronnie O'Sullivan, he's quite phenomenal.
But the slower players tend to win things, if you look at Stephen Hendry or Steve Davis. If you had your time again, would you play a bit differently?
No. No, because it's a natural talent you've been given. You see opportunities, sometimes and the risk is too great, but it's impossible to turn it down. The alternative is to play a negative safety shot, then you might have to wait another ten minutes before you get your chance. So if you're on the top of your game, players like myself and O'Sullivan can win the game there and then, but there is that element of risk. I couldn't play any other way. I wouldn't want to play any other way.
Our thanks to Jimmy White for his time. We didn't talk much about the game, true, but it's already out, we've reviewed it and suspect many will already be aware of it. With that in mind, it was difficult to resist chatting about snooker in general when you're in the presence of one of the sport's greats. Sue us.