Thanks to 10Tons for the review code
Title: Tennis in the Face
System: Switch (eShop)
Release Date: 12/08/2017
The epic tale of this adventure begins when a tennis coach breaks free from the entrancement caused by a chaotic drink known as Explodz, as he goes on a world-wide quest to knock sense into everyone obsessed with the drink using his tennis racket, and whatever projectiles are fit for the job! It’s a very basic story that’s not touched on much, but it does fit the game’s humorous style like a glove by being a crazy excuse plot that ends up being really funny!
First impressions of the visuals might come off as negative, with the game using a cartoony artstyle that people might associate with generic mobile games, and while this is a port of a game meant for mobile devices, the visual presentation is a lot better than it would seem to be at first glance. The artstyle ends up being a breath of fresh air considering how this could have easily became yet another generic pixel art game with the same gameplay, but they went a step further and at least made something to help it stand out, even if it looks a bit similar to how Angry Birds went with its artstyle. (although I personally find that this game looks much better in comparison)
The musical score of the game is nothing to write home about, with no bad songs to be found in the game, just generic, repetitive loops that can get stuck in your head for all the wrong reasons. It’s nothing worth muting, but also nothing worth downloading to your MP3 player either. The grunts that you knock out in each level do offer amusing groans of pain whenever they’re hit, which is a funny touch.
Despite the title making this game appear to be just another multiplayer tennis game at first glance, Tennis in the Face is actually a really enjoyable physics based puzzle game. The main goal of each stage is to carefully aim a trajectory for The Coach to launch a tennis ball or whatever projectile the stage will provide in such a way that it will knock out every enemy on the screen, either through a chain reaction or just from good aiming. Depending on how many projectiles you fire in a stage, you can earn a crown for the stages by shooting as few as possible, which can lead to some tricky stages if you want to get a crown in every single one of them.
And to be blunt, that’s pretty much the entire game, with a world map offering several different paths to clear some stages in any order you wish, and new enemy and projectile types being introduced the further you progress. (One of the projectiles is the Explodz can, which has a wimpy trajectory, but makes up for it by exploding on contact if it hits certain places with an impact, such as explosive crates or pointed objects) Gradually the game does unlock some bonus content in each world, from in-game achievements to extra levels, (that sadly don’t seem to save indications of you beating it, but rather just your high scores) but this doesn’t really do much outside of providing some extra challenge and replay value for those who’re already hooked in the action.
In conclusion, Tennis in the Face is pretty much yet another puzzle game to be found on the Nintendo Switch eShop. But it’s a damn good one, and one I found to be a lot more engaging than the usual physics based puzzle games I’ve tried in the past. This is certainly a title I’m going to put on my backlog to play to 100% completion, and for the price of $5, it’s a stellar deal for fans of physics based puzzle games. The thing is, that’s pretty much all this game has going for it, so if you aren’t a fan of puzzle games or were hoping for something related to actual tennis action, then you might want to look elsewhere. Still, can’t go wrong bashing people in the face in your epic quest for liberation! I give Tennis in the Face an 8 out of 10, and recommend it for fans of physics games looking for something new to play on the Switch.