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Genre: Sports :: Players: 1 :: Released: 06/8/08

Beijing 2008 - The Official Mobile Phone Game of the Olympic Games Review

Publisher: Sega :: Developer: Humagade


Game Features


Struggling to think of one


Poor graphics
Too easy
Has that rushed out feel

Save Option
Bus/Tube Friendly
See Compatible Handsets












Review Details
Handset Nokia N81 8Gb
Time Played 1 hour
Game Progress Triple gold medal champion

Costas Stephanides’s Review

Review Date: 06/8/08

Expect this review to be censored in some parts of the world

The biggest sporting event in the world is back and while communist China may not be too keen on all this capitalist merchandising, the IOC doesn't mind a few branded games here and there.

With Sega getting their hands on the console license, they also have publisher rights on the mobile version but left Humagade in charge of the development process. What we have is not pretty and it's not clever either.

Beijing 2008 Mobile showcases up to 4 events from the Games; 100m sprint, Hammer, 200m freestyle swimming and Table Tennis - at least that is what the blurb says. The screenshots also show four events but unfortunately my lowly N81 (?) only had three events. Admittedly, we do receive the games direct from the publishers and we hope they have sent us a generic format that would work on any Nokia. If this is the quality on offer to the masses of mobile phone gamers out there, I’m not surprised that the industry is faltering.

The graphics of the game we played took me back to the Spectrum with the Hammer being especially dire. The 100m sprint does have some decent running animation but it's more like The Clone Games with each runner being identical in creed, colour and race (hardly the diversity that The Olympics encourages). In fairness, the graphics from the screenshots do look a little better.

The game's one saving grace are the controls. For the 100m you have to press the action button as your runner passes over a target. There are about 10 of these to hit and it is easy one thumb gaming. The Hammer has a similar system with 3 short presses before holding the fourth to dictate the angle of trajectory. Some of the timing is very subtle but as I repeatedly get 84.88m in the Hammer there must be some flaw in the algorithm. The controls for the swim are more like a dance game where you have to push the indicated direction at the right time and it actually works quite well.

There are two modes, Practice and Going for Gold. The latter challenges you to survive from the qualifiers through to the final to ultimately win your gold medal. The competition is easy and the repetition constant. There's very little feeling of satisfaction here and no winning ceremony or fireworks to shout about.

As I come to the end of this review and my mind starts to think of the scores to give this game, I wish we employed a correction factor of 0.5. There are some parts to this game that aren't bad but others that are just terrible and unforgiveable. Had this been a simple clone I would not have minded. The Olympics are fast becoming a money machine and you expect most will try and cash in on the hype. But when the game has the 5 rings on the title page and the trademark of the IOC, expectations for integrity and quality are high.