Reviews

TouchSports Tennis ’09 Review

Review by Matt Dunn

TS Tennis is a great looking Tennis game for the iPhone. The controls work well. The sound is good. It will surely impress your friends, but can it impress a hard-assed critic like me? ;)

TS Tennis has a lot of things going for it. Sound effects are nice for the most part, and the game has almost PSP quality graphics. The controls are very simple, and work well. You tap to start a serve, and then tap again to control your power. You then tap the area on the field you want your player to run to, and they automatically swing at the ball. You can tilt your phone left or right to control the direction your ball goes. The problem with this, is there is no precision at all. On easy, maybe 1 out of 10 hits will go barely out of bounds on either side, even though it looks no different than the times the ball is in-bounds. On hard, I felt like half of my balls got hit out of bounds! There is also no way to control the speed of your shots other than getting closer to the net, which is difficult when playing the game on hard. I should also mention that on hard, it’s near impossible to score on your opponent without acing a serve with max power.

The game has a quickplay mode, which randomly puts you as one of the three female pro players the game features against another pro player. The tournament mode simply contains multiple sets against your opponent, so it’s basically like quickplay where you get to choose your character/opponent, and it lasts longer. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t save your scores unless you play an entire set/tournament, and if need to go, you can’t leave and continue your game! There is an option to change the color of the trail behind the ball… weeeee!

Presentation & Graphics:

Visually, this game looks very good. The game plays well, and doesn’t lag at all. Animations are good, and although the pro player character models are obviously going to have a low poly count, you can still see Anna’s valuptuous figure! Woot!

Sound:

The sound is also good. Shoes scuffling and racket hits are nice, but what’s up with the sound of the ball bouncing on the ground? Doesn’t have that tennis ball bounce feel!

Gameplay:

Playing against easy/medium opponents is the way to go, although easy will probably be too easy for most. Hard mode is simply too cheap., and will have experienced players vollying back and forth for what seems forever – until they accidently hit the ball out of bounds. The touch control works well, but there’s no precision when aiming your shot, and you pay for it in hard/medium! I’m wondering why ball spin wasn’t added to the game… you know, tilt your phone forward/back? Either way, I did enjoy playing to a certain point.

Game life:

This game should be a quick destraction, but without that ability to save/continue games, it kind of fails at that. What if you just have time for one quick match, and not a whole set? Sorry Charlie, you’re out of luck. With only 3 choices for pro players (where are the men?), and nothing to unlock, there’s not a huge reason to keep coming back. This game would kick ass if there was wifi multiplayer of some sort though.

Game rating:

Final word:
As other sites have raved about, this game looks great, and plays well. The sound is good too. The problem with TouchSports Tennis is it’s lack of basic features. No save/continue? Are you serious? That is a must for any good phone game. The hard AI is also very unforgiving, and the fact that there is no precise aiming adds to this frustration. Despite all that, TS Tennis is descent for a sitdown-and-play setting, and will certainly impress your friends! I would recommend the game be kept at it’s current $1.99 sale price.

For a video review of the game, visit our podcast page on iTunes and download iPGN: vidcast 3. Alternatively watch it in the embedded video below, at the 6 minute mark.

 

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  • HHG

    The games 1st update addresses the reviewers concerns: Improved AI, Point accurate shot placement with target zone marker, auto save/load, frame rate increase.. etc! Should be there around 12/1/08.

  • http://www.pyrosmile.org iPGN-Matt

    Good! Be sure to let me know so I can post an update.

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