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FIFA World Cup 2006 Mobile Edition: three lions phone home

FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 Mobile Edition is EA's latest addition to its growing collection of mobile phone games. Play football and call home -- in one handy dandy package

The World Cup is looming as ominously as Peter Crouch in a penalty area, and as always games developers are getting in on the action. EA Games has thrown caution to the wind and is investing time, effort and bundles of cash into producing and marketing a new range of mobile games -- it spent a massive wodge acquiring developer Jamdat last year. The company's latest addition to its growing mobile game collection is the well-timed FIFA World Cup Germany 2006.

This edition of FIFA follows suit to FIFA 2006 Mobile Edition, but only features 32 international teams -- the domestic ones have been removed. You don't get the same number of options, but the gameplay and controls are the same and it looks very similar. We were slightly disappointed that the feature which meant tackles caused the phone to vibrate was lost, but we'll manage.

Our only serious niggle with this game (and with almost all other mobile games, to be fair) is the control layout, which is functional but hardly condusive to instant fun. Nokia's N-Gage range of handsets had the best solution to date, but is now just a fond memory.

Too many mobile games are let down by their control layout and small screens, but we like seeing established franchises like FIFA coming to handsets near us, and this is a positive start for an interesting concept.

With large outfits like EA starting to support mobile games and handsets changing so quickly, it might not be long before we get a PSP-cool device that we can also call our mum on. FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 Mobile Edition will be available on the 28 April from the EA site and will cost around £5. -AL