Sports games have really advanced since ye olde days, where players were square blobs and the ball was also a square blob and gameplay consisted of hammering the space bar furiously until your fingers fell off. Now you can get realistic sports sims on your smartphone, and Rugby Nations 13 (iOS) does a great job of capturing rugby’s complex mechanics in a highly playable mobile format.
With its crisp and colourful graphics and excellent audio production, Rugby Nations 13 could happily be a full console game. You get the chance to compete in tournaments with your chosen team, get stuck into a quick single match or even blast your way through various mission-style challenges, giving you plenty of gameplay to last a very long time.
Players are controlled using on-screen buttons, which change depending on the situation. You can pass and charge when attacking, spread your defences when the other team has the ball, and as you’d expect there are scrums, line-ups and penalties. We soon discovered that our rugby skills haven’t improved since we last played the sport in real life, around 15 years ago, but we did managed to score a couple of tries by boosting our way through the opposition, which led to many triumphant fist-pumps.
As with the real life sport, play is very stop-start, which can be a little irritating if you just want to blast through a quick game. Still, rugby fans are bound to get a kick out of this surprisingly deep and well-produced sim.