Tennis in the face from 10Tons Ltd is a brilliant puzzle game worthy of its genre.
The premise is simple you play as Pete Pagassi and your aim is to save the city from an evil drinks corporation. This is no sunset city though as Pete must rampage past creepy clowns, corrupt police who have donut fixations and numerous other addicts of Explodz No1 tipple. Pete has one weapon at his disposal and that is his trusty racket where with his precise aim homed from his days on the court he must hit all enemies with the ball to knock them down. Do it with as few shots as possible and you earn yourself a crown.
You play over a serious of levels within set districts. Each District contains up to 16 levels to smash your way through. You complete a level the exact same way you would complete its genre daddy Angry Birds however you choose your route to the next district. Complete them all and you get some reward but nothing exciting to go the extra mile for. Simply aim and serve! Your get more points for taking less shots and hitting a set target earns you a gold crown for that level. You do this by bouncing the tennis ball of objects ensuring the ball is deflected into the enemies path. Some of these objects as you will discover in later levels offer great variety and a certain degree of difficulty. The leveling mechanic is simple and incredibly easy for any player level to grasp. This is the only mode in the game and found this a bit disappointing
What did strike me immediately with the game was its beautiful cartoon design which caters to its wacky and frankly ridiculous storyline. Its cartoon design is supported with some silky smooth animations from explosions, donuts flying through the air and a super sweet slow mo animation when you cripple that last enemy with an ace headshot. As a sucker for anything with numbers i do love how the scores multiply with every hit and keeps the screen busy something that I felt was important with 10Tons moving this title to the PS4.
Music can make or break a game and at first on this title it felt ok and gets you through the first few levels. It offers unique sounds upon level completions and random quirks upon a levels start. What is painful about the music however is that after the first 10 levels of a game that spans over 100 I was completely sick of it. It is repetitive and could drive one to insanity. The game didn’t offer any clue to it changing and forced me to switch it off from the menu. I can only imagine how trying to complete the more difficult levels would have felt listening to the same mono tone beats . Animation sounds are solid though and generally aid this game being a fun and entertaining venture.
What is fantastic about this game is its take on satire on every angle. 10Tons have done a great job at making this game really fun to play and can deliver some genuinely funny moments when enemies are toppled. I certainly had a few laugh out loud moments toppling our hipsters when I fired a can of explode at them. The rag doll effects are pretty impressive for a game of this type and are fun to watch as the chaos unfolds which it inevitably will. SettingTennis in the Face apart from others is this quirky take on the world we live in however it doesn’t make up for a very repetitive game mode. Theres nothing here that is new and thats Tennis in the Face’s biggest weakness I would have liked to have seen a bit more depth and selectable weapons to add more variety as I level up. The only changes a player will see here progressing through the levels are purely superficial exploding cans, tennis balls and vending machines weren’t enough of a progression to see me right to the end of this campaign. What this game will do is keep you coming back when you have those 10 to 15 spare minutes for a quick level here and there but don’t hold out too much hope that it will tide you over till the next release from 10Tons. A solid 10 hours should see you help Pete bring justice to enemies.
At the time of this review Tennis in the face was not available on PSVITA but the developer is intending to release the title on the Sony platform after initial intentions of a simultaneous launch failed. Whether this will offer Cross Buy or not is yet to be known.