Game: Tennis in the Face
Release date: December 9th, 2016
Tennis in the Face is the latest game from 10tons to make its way onto Xbox One. Following others such as Crimsonland, Baseball Riot, and Sparkle Unleashed, Tennis in the Face is not the tennis game you were waiting for. In fact, it's not even the tennis game you knew you wanted, but you do. You want this game.
We control Pete Pagassi, a former tennis player who loses his career over an addiction to Explodz energy soda. Now that he's out of rehab, Pete seeks revenge on everyone associated with the soda in an attempt to gain his notoriety back. If his name sounds familiar, it's because it is intended to be a cross between Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. That's where the similarity ends, however. Looks wise, our character resembles a cross of these two tennis stars only after a weekend long crystal meth bender. Pete Pagassi has the classic mullet with headband around, rickety arms and muscles and is incredibly thin.
The setup is exactly the same as Baseball Riot. You'll make your way through sets of square stages each containing various amounts of levels you'll need to pass in order to unlock the next group. At first, you'll start off slow with just some marketing clowns, but will quickly be met with advertisers, riot police and more that all require different ways to take down. Since Tennis in the Face is a physics-platformer, you'll need to ricochet your shot across the level. Some enemies can be taken down from behind right away, while in front will require multiple shots. Others can be eliminated by explosives or crushed by rocks. It's a simple set up that adds just enough to refrain from being too repetetive and maintain the classic, fun gameplay that 10tons is known for.
Tennis in the Face was originally a mobile game and the graphics show that clearly. Visual presentation has never been the focus of 10tons game and that's fine. What Tennis in the Face is a true, fun game that you'll enjoy playing. It's also incredibly addicting. Some levels you fly right through while others take a bit of planning. It has that "Ok, just one more time" feel to it where you will fail the level and say "ok, just one more time", and try again. Before you know it you have 30 "ok, just one more times" and the fun of the game keeps it from being frustrating.
The game does a great job of working its way up to all of the puzzle aspects in it. The first level takes literally two seconds to play. Line up your shot, smash the guy with a tennis ball and you're done. Over the game's 120 levels, you'll work your way up to smashing a glass wall to release balloons. These balloons will rise up, blow up TNT and send a tube of tennis balls rocketing across the screen in order to take out enemies. Since you only have three tennis balls a level, and each one will only bounce several times prior to disappearing, you'll need to plan many levels out ahead of time.
By far the ragdoll physics is the best part about Tennis in the Face. The manner in which the enemies flop around and fall off ledges is hysterical. I played the game with my son and daughter, ages 8 and 4, and their reaction is the very reason I believe 10tons makes games. It was just pure laughter the entire time. You know, that innocent child laughter that you yourself can't help but laugh at when you hear it. "Daddy, look at that guy! He's so silly!(insane giggles)"
The online leaderboards and achievements provide a bit of extra incentive to see just how well you can do as well. Games mean a lot of things to a lot of people. From in depth RPG's to straight forward shooters, everyone has some personal reason for playing games. Underneath that personal reason, however, is one reason we all have in common: Having fun. That's why games were invented, to bring people together in order to have fun. That's what Tennis is the Face does. It's a fun, pure arcade style game that will see people laughing in both fun and frustration.
Tennis in the Face is available now on Xbox One for only $4.99, but has a special 10% discount on launch. Be sure to check it out for some good old fashioned fun, the main reason games were invented.