Tennis in the Face for many will remind us of the computer games we played as children on our first computers.
Graphics for Tennis in the Face don’t offer much in terms of realism but its art style suits the game well. While nothing is overly creative in its cartoon art style it never serves as a distraction in both good and bad ways. The background and character models are easily forgettable but are a good fit for what the developers were trying to achieve. You won’t be singing the praises for the graphics on this one, but everything runs smoothly with no frame rate drops or disappearing textures.
The strongest part of the game for Tennis in the Face is certainly its story. While it is a simple revenge story, the self-awareness that it presents during the game is humorous and clever. Each adversary is a parody of the culture behind the menacing energy drink company Explodz with the oblivious guards, die-hard fans, bumbling shareholders, and cautionary scientist. Each area offers more story via news releases that inject a much-appreciated humor into the narrative. The quips that your adversaries interject with before the level loads offer a good laugh but can feel a bit repetitive. The story does fall off a bit near the end thanks to the opponents you face being mostly reused, but for such a simple game the humor is a great boost for the narrative.
The sound for the game is not of much interest. The game’s music offers a bit of filler but ultimately after the first few matches becomes dreadfully repetitive with a whole of three tunes being played throughout the game. The real benefit of the sound comes on the last projectile you use during gameplay where the sound shifts to a dramatic tone giving the moment of desperation of needing to hit your last target even more weight. But that is as far as the sound will take the player.
The gameplay for Tennis in the Face is simple but oddly satisfying. Its system of eliminating enemies with tennis balls will remind many of their time spent with Angry Birds, and the puzzles systems are never backbreaking but can be frustrating. Thanks to the dynamic velocity of how the tennis balls control, the gameplay can create some of the most captivating “did you see that” moments that I have experienced in quite a while. Finding new ways to eliminate the last enemy right before the last bounce of the ball is nerve-racking and supremely satisfying when you achieve victory. Losing is easily forgiven, with the quick reset option and the first half of the game grows better until its half way point. At every section, you are introduced to new enemies and I grew more interested on to who I would face next but sadly at the half way point the new enemies are just color swapped versions of the originals with a slight twist. I enjoyed my time with Tennis in the Face but its style is more suited for its mobile game version than its console.
Replay value truly comes down to the player on this one. The gameplay is satisfying enough that going back to earlier levels or playing the secret levels maintain their enjoyment, but nearly everything else falls off. That is the trouble with Tennis in the Face feeling so much like a mobile game for players, it leaves the game feeling restricted, even on mobile platforms. Its enjoyment is quick but fleeting, Tennis in the Face is good, but doesn’t get much better the second time.
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