Ronnie O'Sullivan Snooker 2008

For many of us snooker means either darkened smoky working men's clubs with doors closed to outsiders, or a fight scene in a movie where a passing tourist nudges the cue of an easily enraged henchman. Either way, the reality is that most of us like to play it but are usually a little lacking in the skill department.

The sport actually makes for a perfect mobile phone gaming, though, thanks to the baize-covered table's convenient screen shaped form and the familiarity of the rules to anybody who's ever touched a cue. But that's not to undermine what Shadow Light Games has achieved here.

The developer's game model might not be revolutionary, but the subtleties in Ronnie O'Sullivan Snooker 2008 really make it stand out as a quality game, as accomplished as some of the better console-based billiards releases, in fact.

While there are plenty of camera angles to view your games, the standard perspective puts you above the table looking down. Using the thumbstick or keypad, you can rotate the cue around the cue ball. A thin white line coming from the ball displays the path it will take, including ricochets and deflections. Similarly, any ball the cue ball strikes shows its own coloured line, giving you an idea of how things should end up.

Quick taps up and down enable you to alter aiming movement speed, strike power and spin, giving you a comprehensive way of lining up shots with accuracy. While this may make things sound a little easy, where Ronnie O'Sullivan Snooker 2008 succeeds is in what it doesn't show you.

Red balls, for example, might give long aiming lines that make guiding a ball to a pocket relatively straightforward, but the other coloured balls generally only give you the slightest hint of the direction they will go in.

That might seem an unimportant detail, but as well as making the crucial big scoring shots that little bit harder, it does a fine job of recreating a defining feeling in snooker: only knowing how good your shot is at the second you commit to it.

Aside from an outstanding game model there's some solid if rather functional visuals, a nice collection of sound effects, and an overall crispness of presentation typical of Player One's titles, but what inevitably shines through is the unique spin on a traditional career mode.

The single-player campaign presents you with a timeline of Ronnie O'Sullivan's entire career, making it possible to tackle key incidents in his snooker life, starting with a budding 13-year-old taking on a seasoned adult pro-am.

Each throws you into a game, usually mid-frame, recreating classic Ronnie moments, in the same way that the chess puzzles in newspaper pages allow you to explore your way out of a legendary conundrum from the past time's competition history.

Don't let the chess analogy put you off though, as these scenarios give the game atmosphere, meaning, and – most importantly – cleverly tie it in with the title's celebrity endorsement, which is often absent from such sports releases.

Whether you're a snooker fans or general game player, what you'll find here is a tidy little package with hours of gameplay tucked away. In addition to the expertly crafted game of snooker on offer, a workable multiplayer mode, variable single match lengths and reliable quality throughout make this take on the familiar genre format one of the best yet available.

Ronnie O'Sullivan Snooker 2008

While Ronnie O'Sullivan Snooker 2008 may appear to do little to reinvent the snooker game, it is an exceptional refinement of the world's largest table game on the planet's smallest screen