Tennis in the Face, a quirky and humorous physics puzzler from 10tons Ltd., is now available from the app store. Deriving inspiration from games like Stupid Zombies and Bounce Bullet, Tennis in the Face serves to give gamers a less gory option in an increasingly crowded field.
Tennis in the Face Pros:
- Quirky cartoon graphics and terrific ragdoll animations; realistic physics engine
- Soundtrack is upbeat, sound effects (especially tennis ball bounce) enhance the experience
- Controls are drag and release, following aiming line accurately
- Tons of levels and fun elements to deal with
- GameCenter integration for leaderboards and achievements
Tennis in the Face Cons:
- A bit familiar and somewhat repetitive
The backstory describes how Pete Pagassi (an assumed mashup of tennis greats Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi) fell from tennis grace due to problems with Explodz Soda, sending him on a personal vendetta to eradicate anything and everything to do with the brand. The first set of levels sees you attacking local circus clowns hopped up on the high-energy concoction. You accomplish this by serving lethal tennis balls within a puzzle framework in an attempt to knock off all instances of the clowns. The more deaths you can attribute to a single serve, the higher your point total will be. Headshots offer additional points per individual. Environmental objects like glass, scrap metal, and exploding cans impact how you play a level, as does the type of enemy. For instance, the riot police you face in the second set of levels require two hits to kill if you hit their shield first. Headshots or hits from behind will take them out with the traditional single serve. Balls will ricochet around the level for several bounces, allowing you to set up a pretty convoluted series of banks to take out your targets. The balls lose speed the longer they are in play until they disappear altogether. There are well over 100 levels to play, with a smattering available at any given time due to the map layout. You must complete a set before moving on, and there are incentives for going back and replaying levels in an attempt to finish them with the fewest number of shots.
Graphically, the game features 10tons Ltd.’s typical cartoon graphic presentation, with slightly offbeat but fun character models and a good dose of humorous elements thrown in for fun. The ragdoll physics used for death animations are great. The puzzle design is quite challenging, though an aiming line does help to get your shots just right. The controls are dead simple, requiring you to touch the screen and drag to aim your line. Releasing your finger serves the ball. There is no other way to impact play, though you can fire a second ball while the first is still ricocheting around the screen. The soundtrack is upbeat and fun, making this offering a better fit for younger children who probably don’t need to be exposed to the bloody, gory effects of similar titles. Replay value is good, given that you can replay levels for more efficient shots and higher point totals if you can pull off more headshots. GameCenter leaderboards and achievements also give you incentive to play on. A universal app on launch sale for $0.99 (regularly $2.99), Tennis in the Face earns a solid 4-Dimple rating.
Tennis in the Face Review,