Angry Birds Meets Tennis?!
Like it or love it, we all know how popular Angry Birds has become. Tennis in the Face looks to capitalize on that success with a slightly different, and quirky, take on the mobile puzzle genre. It’s here on all PlayStation platforms as well, so console gamers get to join in on the action at home or on the go.
You’re a disgruntled former Tennis star named Pete Pagassi, whose career was ruined by a wild addiction to Explodz energy drinks. Armed with just his trusty tennis racket and a massive supply of yellow balls, he sets out to exact revenge at the local Explodz festival. The fight across town will put him up against crazy clowns, hipsters, Explodz employees and even the police force!
As you can see from the game’s premise, Tennis in the Face is very quirky. This is evident in all aspects of the game, including the story, art style and gameplay. The formula is simple and doesn’t deviate much from other games in the genre. Each level is presented on one screen and features various targets, obstacles and other objects that you will be shooting at. You aim using the analog sticks (or touch screen on the PlayStation Vita) and fire tennis balls that bounce around the level. The goal is to eliminate all enemy targets using as few balls as possible.
The levels are varied in their setup, offering up different challenges as you progress through the game. There are variations in the enemy targets which require you to approach them differently, such as going for headshots or attacking them from behind. Sometimes you even get to shoot Explodz cans that explode when they hit something, instead of the usual tennis balls. There are also various objects like glass, rolling barrels, and exploding boxes that affect the strategy you need to use in order to pass the levels.
Tennis in the Face offers up a decent challenge, but only if you aim to meet the goal of each level, simply passing is almost always very simple. You’ll find yourself relying on a lot of trial and error, it can be tricky to figure out exactly what angle you need to shoot the ball at to get the right bounces. Sometimes you’ll succeed on what appears to be blind luck, but from my experience that’s typical in a game of this sort. The game does show you the path of your last shot, which is a good help, and they’ve made it quick to restart so you can get right back to playing after some bad shots.
There are around 120 levels to master, and some special activities along the way as well. During the game’s progression, you’ll unlock a few bonus levels that have leaderboard support, giving you and your friends a way to compete for top spot. There are also various trophy collections that show which trophies you have earned, with a reward being unlocked upon completion of a set. Completionists will spend a good amount of time mastering everything the game has to offer, and it shouldn’t cause too many “controller throwing” moments either which is always nice.
The Verdict: 7.0 out of 10
Tennis in the Face is a game to play when you have ten minutes to burn. I’d suggest you play on the PS Vita; the game’s short play sessions suit the handheld well. 10tons Ltd. hasn’t done anything fundamentally new here, but there’s fun to be had regardless. I thought the difficulty was fair, and the game does just enough to keep the levels interesting throughout. If you aren’t a fan of Angry Birds or other games of that style, this won’t be for you. If you want a simple time waster on a PlayStation platform, then I’d suggest you give it a shot.
For more information about what the score means, check out our official review scale.
Tennis in the Face was reviewed on PlayStation Vita using a developer-supplied copy of the game. The review applies to all PlayStation versions of the game. All screenshots and video, aside from the featured image, were captured by Ryan Amirault directly from a PS Vita.