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Tennis in the Face Review


I’m going all out here and saying that many Xbox One gamers will instantly dismiss Tennis in the Face. For one, it’s a mobile title which has been brought straight to console. For two, it’s got a rather strange name. And three, it’s all a bit simple looking. And those are a few things which many current gen console owners tend to stay away from.

But dismiss Tennis in the Face at your peril, because once again the development team at 10tons have delivered another fun title. A fun title that is superbly well priced at that.


You may have already played Tennis in The Face on your mobile device. Or if you haven’t, you would at least have played something very very similar. Much like Stupid Zombies, or 10tons’ very own Baseball Riot and Clowns in the Face, this tennis variation gives you one task and one task only… clear the stage of your static enemies, move on to the next and then rinse and repeat until you give up with life.

This time round though, you are put in the shoes of Pete Pagassi, worldwide tennis extraordinaire as he attempts to save the world from Explodz, a corrupt energy drinks manufacturer who is threatening to take over the world. Yeah, it’s a little like the Sunset Overdrive scenario, just on a much smaller scale. Those damn energy drinks get everywhere eh!

It is Explodz who send out killer clowns, smartphone wielding hipsters, riot police and hazmat suited scientists as they aim to stop Pete from ruining their little empire. Or at least that’s roughly what happens because the story behind it all quickly fades into insignificance. Should we expect something a bit more in-depth for such a small outlay? I don’t think so and I’m certainly not going to hold 10tons accountable for not providing me with a full of tale of mystery or intrigue. All I want is tennis ball smashing and it is that which they have delivered.


Now, as already alluded to, Tennis in the Face has come straight over from the mobile scene. As such, it’s never going to be pushing the Xbox One to the limit. The visuals however are as clear and crisp as they need to be and the stages themselves are well designed affairs. There are extra stages to check out in this version, but unless you’ve played the mobile one forever more, you won’t really notice the difference. The levels in place may seem simple at first, but there is a huge need to actually think about what you’re doing, at least that is before trial and error kicks in and you’re left smashing balls all over the shop in the hope they will hit the intended targets.

You see, whilst the physics are spot on, there is still a huge degree of luck and randomness involved with Tennis in the Face. You’ll find yourself needing to attempt some stages over and over again, but then there are others which you’ll get past within mere seconds of your first look – either through skill or utter luck. At all times, you’ll find that your thumbstick sets your aim and a quick press of the face button pings your ball around the arenas. And that is about it in respect of the controls. It is possible to line things up pretty damn precisely, but only if you really sit down and focus intently on the task at hand. Personally, I would have loved to see a fine tune option sitting pretty in the D-Pad, but it is what it is and only when I was ever going all out for a specific achievement would I find myself really needing such meticulous detail.


You see, things never get complex in Tennis in the Face and even with the addition of tougher enemies (some need hitting twice or from behind), more complex stages and various physical properties additions – for example, ice breaks to kill your bounce, whilst spikes burst your ball – nothing ever really gets too taxing. If you can complete the first level, chances are you’ll be good through to the last. Hell, even the ‘boss’ stages see you pushing your way through the same old stuff over again.

That is except for when you delve into the credits scenario, plonking yourself up against the entirety of the 10tons team, albeit it in toon format. This special stage plays out exactly like all the others but seemingly combines every aspect 10tons could think of. It’s the only stage in which you’ll struggle, finding yourself probably needing to check out a walkthrough if you wish to grab the achievement.

A nice addition which mixes things up slightly more is the introduction of ammo crates (in the form of multiple tennis balls), and crates of ever destructible Explodz dotted around here and there. It is vital to acknowledge the existence of both of these, especially if you’re going all out to earn the magical tennis crown for each stage – something which is only granted should you finish a level with spare balls in hand.


To further break up the standard stages, there are unlockable special levels which, whilst bringing the same idea, physics and theme, allow for a bit of a change from the norm. That change however is very slight and if I’m completely honest, am struggling to find much of a reason to bother playing through them. The ‘tournament’ is nothing more than four stages in which you attempt to grab the highest score possible, whilst 30 extra individual levels see little reason to get involved. C’mon 10tons, at least stick an achievement or two in here so we’ve got a reason to play through them.

Without that you see, Tennis in the Face is over in an hour tops. Yes, you’ll need to spend longer as you attempt to grab all crowns, or if you want to unlock the ‘Main Menu Enthusiast’ cheevo; only obtainable by whoring the main menu for an hour or so. But on the whole, it’s a fun bringer which will be over just as it gets started.

But then Tennis in the Face only costs £4 and when you consider that, should be pretty tempted into having it sitting in your games library ready for a rainy day. Don’t expect to be wowed, but yet again 10tons have delivered exactly what they intended – over 120 levels of good mindless fun.

Neil Watton
Neil Wattonhttps://www.thexboxhub.com/
An Xbox gamer since 2002, I bought the big black box just to play Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee. I have since loved every second of the 360's life and am now just as obsessed with the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S - mostly with the brilliant indie scene that has come to the fore. Gamertag is neil363, feel free to add me to your list.
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