RBS 6 Nations Rugby 2009

The 6 Nations tournament has become one of those events that captures people's imaginations even if they've no interest in the sport during the other eleven months of the year.

RBS 6 Nations Rugby 2009 is the official game of the 6 Nations tournament so, predictably, you can play as as England, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Wales or France.

In fact, the game ticks a lot of boxes in feature terms. You can play the full tournament or a quick game, and most of the game's rules have made the transition to mobile - there are tries, conversions, line-outs, throw-ins, scrums and all the kind of antics that would see a rugby shirt of any colour quickly stained brown in the real world.

However, it's the most important gaming boxes of all that remain unticked: those of satisfying gameplay. Rugby may not be the easiest game to translate onto mobile, but this game's tactic of splitting it into unconvincing button-mashing interludes, interspersed with running sections, make sure it's a disappointment.

RBS Rugby 2009 is a game that gives you direct control over your player once you've got hold of the ball. Although running is controlled automatically, you can kick the ball ahead, sprint or pass, as well as moving left or right across the pitch to avoid being tackled by your opponent.

Much like the real game, you won't generally have possession of the ball for too long without coming into contact with an opponent.

Whenever you find yourself in a struggle or scrum, a red-to-green gradient gauge pops up. The green area means you'll gain possession, whereas the red give your opponent victory. Repeatedly hitting the '5' button pushes the gauge towards the green.

Unfortunately, the mechanic feels clumsy. It's often clear that the game has already pre-determined whether you're able to win or not, making the thumb ache-inducing hammering away little more than a maintaining of the status quo rather than something you have real control over.

The sense that the game occasionally verges on an interactive movie is never clearer than when your opponent gains possession of the ball. At the best of times, RBS Rugby 2009 has trouble convincing you that you're in control, but once you've lost the ball, you feel virtually powerless.

A blue halo flits around under your nearest player - the one you're currently 'controlling' - but the automatic running dynamic means your fate is largely in the lap of the gaming gods, based on whether your opponent slows down enough for you to tackle him.

RBS Rugby 2009's overall structure is good, featuring the full game and tournament of rugby while letting you train your team by playing mini-games in between matches. It's just a pity that the gaming nuggets that populate this structure are almost all quite faulty.

The RBS series is one that's never done too well at review here at Pocket Gamer, and this new 2009 edition is no different. Some elements have been improved, but it's not enough to see the game cruise past the tryline.

RBS 6 Nations Rugby 2009

RBS 6 Nations Rubgy 2009's feature list may look decent from a distance but its bitty, frequently alienating gameplay means it fails to pass the tryline. Occasionally coming across like an interactive movie, the bone structure may be convincing but there's not enough meat here to satisfy