Tennis in the Face – Switch Review

We have another review of a 10tons game, this time we bring you Tennis in the Face on Nintendo Switch.

With Tennis in the Face you might be thinking you’re going to be getting a nice little sports fix, when you think of games like Virtua Tennis, and the rather disappointing Mario iteration on the Wii U, the name might sway you that way. Tennis in the Face is a 2D puzzler where you have to take out the other people on each level to progress further. As you might have guessed it, but the way of Tennis Racket and Ball. You play disgraced Tennis player Pete Pagassi who got hooked on Explodz (an energy drink) and ruined his career. After rehab, he aims to clean up the city from Explodz, and this is where the game kicks in.

The puzzles start off relatively easy, and are no cause for concern, as you would have thought, just nice enough to ease you into the game. As you get through more and more levels, the action does ramp up a bit as more elements are added to the puzzles. This can be in the form of different people, such as police holding shields, or lab technicians in full suits, both of which require 2 hits unless with the police you get a shot in from behind or an explosion with the technicians. As you get further and further into the game, new elements are added to each level, this can be in the form of glass walls, thicker more durable walls, explosives which are there to help, and can also help you plan how you’re going to get the level finished. Sometimes it’s a lot easier to see how to get the level finished, even as you get further along into different and more difficult areas, the patterns are there and you can see what you can use and where you’re going to bounce the ball to get the perfect shot in.

You have a certain number of balls in which to do each level, most of which are targeted in a straight line, so bouncing them off walls and platforms does help, however when granted the power a little way into the game, you can start to bend shots which come in the form of exploding cans. Meaning some people you wouldn’t normally be able to hit in a straight line, might be accessible… Via a bounce or two.

As you play through the levels there are bonuses which unlock challenges for you to try and get, such as getting so many headshots with a single serve, which depending on the level can be quite tricky and more down to luck.

One thing I can say about the game is, with the design of the levels being enclosed it can make for some satisfactory shots, some which you might not have been expecting to make as the ball bounces around the level. There were times I thought I wasn’t going to clear a level as I had just hit my last shot, and was about the press the Y button to restart when BAM! The ball took an unexpected bounce and it was done. Relief!

The game does get pretty repetitive after a while, and even with the new elements being added every now and then, it just isn’t enough to keep the game fresh, there are certain patterns to the levels which you can see and learn and after spending some time looking at a level, you can see where you need to hit. Also, for those who have played King Oddball by 10tons, it does feel like a reskin of that, or King Oddball is a reskin of this, I’m not sure which one came out first. The whole style of the metro system and blocks etc that you have to move through are pretty similar, as well as puzzler style.

One disappointment I had with Tennis in the Face was that it lacked any depth or longevity. The only mode that was available was the one to play the ‘story’ mode and get through each section, there was an Extras section which gave you statistics, options etc but that was it. After a few hours and completing the game that was it, I could look at my stats to see how awesome I was, but what then? Create a new profile in game and start all over again? Nope. Nope the Nope. So much nope. I have done it once and that was enough for me. The game could really do with other modes, maybe time trial?

I do really like the artwork for the game, that combined with the synth music attached to it makes me kind of feel I’m sitting down to watch some of my Sunday morning cartoons again like when I was younger. Hey Arnold or Catdog anyone!?

The game overall is enjoyable to play, its levels are well designed and the enclosed nature can help to get through them, the music and style is brilliant, it’s just the game can get a bit repetitive, especially as it only has the one mode to work through.