Finding clever ways to deal with the limitations of the hardware you're developing for is one of the most difficult parts of building a mobile game - especially when all you've got to work with are a few buttons and a processor that's less powerful than the one in your toaster.
Conquering those limitations is what makes Absolute Summer Sports 2012 a bit of a gem. It manages to translate a slew of sports into entertaining, eminently playable mini-games that'll keep you entertained for a good few hours.
Going for gold
Each sport has its own control system. The simplest, the 100m sprint is all about the time-honoured button-mash, hammering on '5' to make your cartoon athlete sprint out ahead of the pack. The most complex, the gymnastics, is a lightning-fast rhythm-action game.
Your gymnast moves across the screen over a series of numbers. It's up to you to tap the corresponding button on the keypad when she's over it, with extra points awarded for perfectly timed presses.
A particular highlight is the skeet-shooting game, which splits the screen into nine boxes, each representing one of the nine numerical buttons on your phone. Targets fly across the screen, and tapping a number when they're in that box will blast them to smithereens.
Then there's archery, with its vicious crosswinds that blow your arrows off course; equestrianism, which is all about balancing speed and timing your jumps; and a diving game that rates you on how vertical your entry into the pool is.
The core of the game is Challenge mode, which sets you five sports at a time, and lets you fail three times before it's Game Over. Each set of five sports is tougher, and managing to succeed in them all requires practice and patience.
Luckily, there's a Practice mode that lets you test your skills at different levels of play. The patience you're going to have to come up with yourself, though.
There's nothing revolutionary about Absolute Summer Sports 2012. In fact, it's pretty similar to its predecessor. But the bite-sized sports fit so well onto a mobile device that it's almost impossible not to enjoy them.