Tennis In The Face (Nintendo Switch) – A Joystik Review
Tennis in the Face has been around a few years now. It has been available for Playstation consoles since 2014, and on Steam since 2015. Even so, it’s release to the Nintendo Switch indie lineup makes for good product placement, and a neat addition to their roster of games.
Tennis in the Face is sticking it to the man one tennis ball at a time
The premise of the game is one of pure silliness. Former tennis star, Pete Pagassi, has fallen out of the limelight, and whether real or perceived, an energy drink, called Explodz, is to blame for it. In retaliation, Pete takes to the streets to stop those under it’s influence and defeat those who are bringing it to the market. To do this, Tennis to the Face puts you in stages in which you must make trick shots to take out the other characters. This is similar to what people have been seeing in Angry Birds games for years, but even so, it’s still good fun.
The difference to this game is the fact that you aren’t just smashing obstacles. Often times, you are trying to maneuver shots around them. This means learning how to ricochet tennis balls throughout the map, taking out as much as you can before it loses momentum. The roster of opponents vary from clowns, millennials (with coffee and cell phones), lab workers, and analysts. Some stages even put destructive items in play to help take enemies out, but in some cases, they are meant to trick you, too.
What’s more, certain maps bring new elements to the game by having you lob cans of Explodz at the enemies, only to watch them burst and destroy whatever is close by. Talk about product placement!
All joking aside, this game is a lot harder than it looks. Sure, the early stages aren’t difficult, and the game play is extremely simple. You just pick your direction and send a ball flying. Advancing from one distract to the next, however, requires a certain level of performance, one that only a pro tennis player would be worthy of. Once you start adding in different obstacles, body armor, shields and hazmat suits, making shots and earning a victory crown becomes a lot more complicated. Sometimes a player might spend minutes fine tuning his shots on a particular map, then clear the next in a matter of seconds. The difficulty varies, but sometimes players just get lucky.
There are other maps you can attempt as well. While these don’t affect your progression in any way, they do allow you to score your progress for bragging rights. For those who are achievement bound, this provides a lot of replay. For those like myself, however, it’s not a selling point.
Speaking of, Tennis in the Face has a nice $ 4.99 price tag in the Switch eshop, a respectable price for those looking for a good impulse buy. That considered, however, is Tennis to the Face worth the price of admission?
Let’s be honest about a couple of things. For starters, there are a lot of games out there with similar concepts. Many of these are mobile, so a game like this on a console might not seem like a big hit. On the other hand, the Switch gives players the best of both worlds. It’s a system you can take with you. This, compared to previously released versions, increases the game’s appeal. Had I purchased this title through Steam, I would have enjoyed it for a while but eventually removed it from my library, sending it to the archives of other games I’d played through. On the Switch, however, it’s something I can play casually while traveling that won’t shred the frame rate or quickly drain the battery.
With this in mind, we also need to consider the amount of game being provided. Each district has plenty of maps to play, and you have to hit the ideal number before moving to the next district. For someone who is strong in these types of games, you could coast through in a few hours. For those who aren’t as strong at trick shot games, it could take days. Even when it’s completed, however, there are still score challenges to do, which provides more content. Wrap all this in a five dollar bundle, and I’d say you have something.
Tennis in the Face is a fun and silly game, built with a nice blend of something challenging, yet simple. You are only ever as good as your last shot, and appealing. It continues to test you to do even more ludicrous things in a game where very little can be taken seriously. I expect this to be a good sleeper hit for the hybrid console; one many people, like myself, probably didn’t see coming.