Game Reviews

TouchSports Tennis 09

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TouchSports Tennis 09

Can you imagine how tennis would be transformed if, while the players were thrashing away with their racquets, the court itself began to tip left and right? It would transform a sport that relies on power, speed, and accuracy into a party game where success is as much a matter of luck as skill.

While TouchSports Tennis 09 doesn't go as far as tilting the court, its use of the accelerometer essentially has the same effect. Here's a game that takes itself too seriously, attempting to replicate tennis yet managing a haphazard treatment instead.

It's enough to make you laugh when players stretch for shot after impossible shot in unbelievable rallies. Less tennis simulation, TouchSports Tennis 09 is more akin to a ball-bouncing party bonanza.

That's not to say that the awkward middle ground TouchSports Tennis finds isn't without merit. There's some fun to be had and it's fairly easy to grasp.

Wisely, Handheld Games takes the action of hitting the ball out of the equation and leaves you to focus on positioning your player and setting the direction of your swings.

Tilting your handset allows you to set the direction of a swing, whereas tapping the court with your finger positions your player.

This no-fuss approach allows you worry about testing your opponent with your next shot rather than remembering how to make the shot in the first place.

The problem is - and TouchSports Tennis is by no means the only game to suffer in this way - using the accelerometer tends to mean tipping the device to such a degree that you have to move your head with it to keep an eye on the action.

It makes playing in public a bit of non-starter, unless ending up in a straight-jacket at the end of the day is your idea of a good time.

The variety of shots on offer is also a bit of a stumbling block because there's just one: a slow, arched return that gives your rival plenty of time to make up ground to smack it right back at you.

Random errors join the aforementioned flaws to ensure TouchSports Tennis is far from the ideal tennis package. The game occasionally skips Deuce when the game is tied at 40-40, simply awarding advantage to the last player to win a shot.

And then there's its habit of awarding serve to the same player twice in a row between games on occasion.

When you also consider that there are only three fictional characters of each gender to play as, it's clear that there's plenty of ground to make up when it comes to content.

Whether due to the sheer novelty or its crisp 3D visuals, Handheld Games's crack at the sport is still somewhat entertaining and playable. Worth it if you've got money to burn, but not an essential purchase for tennis fans.

TouchSports Tennis 09

TouchSports Tennis 09 is glorious to look at, but isn't really the accurate replication of the sport it attempts to position itself as
Keith Andrew
Keith Andrew
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. He's also Pocket Gamer's resident football gaming expert and, thanks to his work on, monitors the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.