Michael Vaughan Cricket 07/08

It's all too easy to poke fun at the England cricket team. After the Ashes victory a few years back, things have gone downhill quicker than Freddy Flintoff tumbling down a hillside after a few too many pints.

Cricket games, like most sports titles, fall into one of two camps. Either it's an all-action affair, with you taking part in the sweaty battle for yourself, or it's being given overall managerial control, hoping that your time on the training pitch has turned your rubbish, laughable shambles of a team into something special. That's the dream, anyway.

Michael Vaughan Cricket 07/08 falls firmly into the first category. Out on the pitch, it's all up to you to set the field, choose your bowlers, and swing the bat and bowl your way to victory.

There's the usual mass of game types on offer, from a few practice swings in the nets, through to full One Day International matches between any two cricketing countries of your choosing.

The main mode in Cricket 07/08, however, is Challenge. Here, you're given a target and a specific set of criteria within which to reach it. It could be scoring a few dozen runs in just a handful of overs, or even despatching an entire team without them scoring more than a smidgeon of points.

The first challenge, for instance, is nice and easy, simply tasking you with scoring 30 runs with eight players to spare, so as to beat a pretty poor Ireland team. Once that's been achieved, the next one unlocks, and you're on your way to testing your skills in a far more difficult dispute.

This Challenge mode provides the real meat to gnaw away at within Cricket 07/08. As fun as random matches can be, the sense of completion as you make your way through the progressively more difficult challenges is one of those that can turn a tedious sporting title into one of the real big hitters. Unfortunately, this one suffers from just a few flaws that prohibit its rise to the very top.

Graphically, this isn't one to show off to your console gaming pals. There's a hint of true 3D, granted, but essentially the visuals aren't up there with the best.

Still, the controls are pretty standard for a mobile game. Choosing your line and length of each ball when bowling is a timed measure, with a tiny aiming reticule that moves swiftly across the pitch. It's hard work, but rewarding. Fortunately, your fielders are AI controlled, so you can at least leave them to try and catch the ball.

Different batting shots, meanwhile, are defined to each button. You're given a hint to the area your opponent plans to bowl, so it's easy to confine yourself to one option nice and early. Like the bowlers, each player is blessed or cursed with unique ratings for skills, such as speed and variation.

If cricketing is your bag, then chances are you'll love Cricket 07/08. But if you've only a mild interest in the sport, you could switch off as swiftly as Freddy Flintoff tumbling down� oh, I've already done that one. Anyway, you get the picture.

Michael Vaughan Cricket 07/08

If you can put up with the frequent loading and dated visuals, this cricket corker should while away those lazy summer afternoons a treat