GAME NAME: Tennis in the Face
DEVELOPER(S): 10tons Ltd
PUBLISHER(S): 10tons Ltd
PLATFORM(S): Vita, PS3, PS4
RELEASE DATE(S): March 17, 2015
If you take one part Angry Birds, mix in a disgruntled former tennis star, with a dash of hipsters and clowns, while adding energy drinks to taste, what do you get? A stern warning from your parents to lay off the drugs. But also Tennis in the Face, which is a mobile game turned PS4 game, which has now turned into a Vita and PS3 game that supports cross-buy with its PS4 brother.
In Tennis in the Face, you play as Pete Pagassi, a tennis great whose career was ruined from drinking too much Explodz energy drink. So to get his revenge he decides to attack the local energy drink festival armed only with his trusty racket and a set of fuzzy yellow balls. You make your way through the city on a quest to rid it from the evil corporate clutches of a fizzy lifting drink.
The game takes place in single screen scenarios within several level sections. These single screens place you amongst a group of enemies and obstacles and you only have a certain amount of turns to bounce a tennis ball around the room to knock everyone out. Sometimes these baddies will have protective armor or be behind breakable objects, so you have to plan your angles carefully. You also can use strategically placed tennis ball canisters and drinks to help clear the levels.
Everything here is exactly the same as the PS4 version, except you can now aim using the Vita’s touch-screen in addition to using the analog sticks. Unfortunately, the touch aiming didn’t seem that precise. Quite a few times I would touch a spot where I wanted the ball to hit only to see the on-screen marker was a little higher or lower. After a couple frustrating turns with that, I just went back to the sticks and never looked back.
The gameplay is pretty fun as you try to figure out the best way to clear the room. The physics of the bouncing ball seem pretty great and it reacts as you expect it would when it hits the various environment pieces. It can start to get a little stale as you get to the end of some sections, but thankfully they add new enemies each time you move to a new area. It’s great to pick up and play a couple levels at a time, but you could get burned out if you try to do it all at once.
I really like the art style used in this game. It’s a cartoony, paper doll style, with rag doll physics on the bad guys when you knock them over. The style used works perfectly with the quirky humor and it catches your eye. The sound isn’t anything spectacular but it’s fun enough. And to answer your next question, yes the tennis ball sounds are as authentic as it gets.
Tennis in the Face is a goofy game with a goofy premise that’s just plain goofy fun. It’s a perfect fit for the Vita, where you can play a few levels at a time and then come back to it later. The art and sound blend well with the gameplay to create a small little blast of weird. Add 3-way cross-buy and three separate trophy lists for a budget price to the mix and you get a game worth checking out.