Tennis in the Face
When tennis champion, Pete Pagassi, falls from grace due to his energy drink addiction he vows revenge against the manufacturers of Explodz. Armed with his trusty tennis racket and tennis balls, Pete goes on a rampage, but standing between him and his personal vendetta are hordes of Explodz-addicted enemies. It is up to players to help Pete knock down these foes as he takes care of the Explodz menace one tennis ball at a time.
Speaking from experience, getting hit in the face with a tennis ball is not exactly a pleasant experience. In fact, getting hit with a tennis ball anywhere on the body is not recommended. Thankfully, hitting enemies with tennis balls and watching them absorb the impact with a nice rag doll effect is much more entertaining. It might be called “Tennis In The Face”, but your opponents in the game will go down no matter where you nail them with a fast served tennis ball. Headshots score you the most points, but causing chain reactions and using the least amount of balls possible to take down everyone will also help you score big.
Tennis In The Face features eight different zones, each populated with its own type of opponent. You start off by taking down some creepy looking clowns, but eventually police in riot gear, hipsters, businessmen and scientists also become the target of your serves. Thanks to the physics based gameplay, which will be familiar to fans of the Angry Birds Franchise, you can knock down enemies using anything that isn’t nailed down on the level. For example, police carry helmets and riot shields that protect them from a full frontal assault, but when knocked down these accessories goes flying and can take down other foes. It helps that your tennis balls ricocheted off whatever they hit and bounces around the level a few times as it allows you to set up some nice chain reactions. The trajectory of your previous shot also remains on the screen, so you can see what went right or wrong and then adjust accordingly. To keep things from being too easy you’ll find that enemies are tucked away behind obstacles on later levels and there are also things such as glass or spikes that can stop your tennis ball dead in its tracks.
Since Pete and all his enemies remain stationary and you have all the time in the world to plan your shots the game is perfect for casual players. As long as you knock down all enemies before running out of tennis balls you can move on to the next level, but working out how to do it in as little serves as possible is a great challenge. Figuring out how to perfectly angle a shot to take down multiple foes adds a nice puzzle element to the game and the slow motion effect when you hit the last enemy feels very rewarding.
The developers opted for a very bold and colorful style for the visuals, which fits the lighthearted style of the game nicely. The backgrounds are very basic, but characters are detailed enough and effects like police going down in a shower of donuts or hipsters dropping their phones as well as lattes when hit are neat touches. The game was obviously designed with touch screen devices in mind, but the interface works well enough on PC and even the controls are a breeze using a mouse. Simply click and drag the mouse to aim and release to lob your tennis balls or occasional cans of Explodz at enemies. The music isn’t too bad, although the tunes can become repetitive after a while. The sound effects on the other hand are all quite good.
With more than 100 levels to complete and a relatively low price tag Tennis In The Face makes for a nice time killer. It can be completed in a couple of hours, but getting all the achievements and completing all the levels with a crown takes considerably longer. There is no doubt that this type of game typically fares better on mobile devices, but even on a big screen it remains a lot of fun and is well worth checking out.