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Tennis Antics (Windows)

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Written by  :  Roedie (5226)
Written on  :  Jan 16, 2007
Rating  :  1.75 Stars1.75 Stars1.75 Stars1.75 Stars1.75 Stars
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Summary

A hectic, over the top tennis game that won't keep you entertained for a very long time

The Good

  • Gameplay is fast-paced and pretty hectic and isn't interrupted after every point that is made, which is an improvement over regular tennis. In Tennis Antics you just keep on playing till the life bar of one of the players is drained, you don't spend half of the time watching players preparing to serve & changing courts. Two cannons next to the court launch bombs on the court every now and then, thus increasing the mayhem.
  • Large cast of weird characters including a voodoo doll, a serial killer in a straitjacket and a LeChuck clone. Characters have different statistics for speed, IQ and strength but with the exception of speed it they don't have a large impact on the gameplay. Each character has his own special attack.
  • Plenty of power-ups to spice up the gameplay. For instance temporarily freeze the ball, steal a power-up from an opponent, speed up your character, turn the ball into a bomb you can detonate when you want to or a plasma weapon to hurt your opponent. Just be sure you set the damage level (in the options menu) to low, or the matches are over to soon.
  • Kind of fun to play with two players, sound-effects are OK (music is cheerful but repetitive; only one really short MIDI track per court, so it becomes rather annoying pretty fast). It's freeware (at least I downloaded the full version from a freeware site, some other sites still have a shareware version with only the galleon episode).

The Bad

  • Tennis Antics is not a game with much depth. The sport of tennis has been simplified too much. There's only one button for swiping the ball and one button for activating power-ups. You can not lob or smash the ball, there is no distinction between backhand and forehand strokes. The game is a little more complex than Pong, but it's definitely no Virtua Tennis.
  • Bugs. For some unknown reason some of the characters can suddenly start to move around the court in a horizontal position instead of in an upright position which looks really odd. Moreover there are some strange A.I. bugs, opponents sometimes just can't seem to get the ball over the net. This is especially a problem when the ball is played into a corner on the horror and wonderland courses. I've won sets without doing anything.
  • The differences between the courts are only cosmetic (except for the bug mentioned above).
  • Graphics are bright and colorful and both courts and characters look pretty wacky, but the graphics are also rather crude and dated. The character animation is pretty clumsy (even without the bug mentioned above).
  • Too easy. You can easily beat the three episodes of the story mode in a single afternoon.

The Bottom Line

Over the top mixture of tennis and arcade action with an emphasis on the use of power-ups over simulating the sport of tennis. Can be fun in small doses or with two players. Bugs in the A.I. programming take a lot of fun away from the single-player story mode. This is not a game I enjoy playing for longer than 20 minutes.