Tennis in the Face multiplatform game developer 10tons Ltd. is a casual puzzle game with projectile physics and ragdolls that is very easy to pick and play. The plot is not hard to follow, and it is pretty funny when you encounter it for the first time. The gameplay is also not so complicated, and it reminds me of angry birds, or any other game where the objective is to KO all the enemies on the stage to proceed.
You play as Pete Pagassis, a world-renowned tennis champion, but the newspaper exposition in the beginning of the game details his downfall at the hands of an energy drink called Explodz. Pegassis quits his addiction, but takes to the streets in the attempt to remove the drink’s hypnotic powers over the people of his home city. One thing leads to another, and everything leads the player to believe there is a conspiracy behind all this, especially since the police are after you too.
There are multiple enemy variants to encounter and hit with tennis balls, but you tend to fight groups of the same enemy in each area. Some of the enemies are reskins of previous adversaries, but it is meant to add to the challenge of the game. For instance, you encounter hypsters calling tennis retro, but a couple levels later you encounter a reskin that identifies as some kind of D&D cosplayer with a sword and shield. It can be enjoyable to nail any of these enemies in the face with a tennis ball or an Explodz can. Some of them have animations, like donuts fly like confetti when you hit the police officers and money bursts out of the consultants. If you hit them all you can even stop and watch as the ragdolls fall in slow motion.
As for the gameplay, there is not too much to figure out. Pagassis stands still as you serve the ball or can. The objective is to save the town, but when you’re on the stage your primary goal is to take out all the enemies with the ammunition you are provided. You aim with the left thumb stick and tap A to serve. All you need to do is watch where the ball goes and hope it makes its way as you plan it out in your head. You may need to take a moment to scan the area and see what surfaces you can use to take out the enemies. There are multiple things to think about, like glass, metal shards, explosive, stray tennis balls, etc. If you feel like you messed up, the game offers a reset button, Y. Even if you run out of ammo the game will prompt you to restart the instance. This is what makes it feel casual.
The soundtrack is not half bad, but after playing for an hour or two, you may get sick of the same track looping in the background, especially if you are stuck on a difficult puzzle. The artwork is pleasant to look at too. It reminds me of the Total Drama series. There are also little moments before each puzzle that you share some banter with the enemy. That can also get repetitive, but it’s not so bad. Every enemy type gets their own. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can go off and perform additional puzzles and earn medals and rack up some points.
I think Tennis in the Face is a pretty fun game to play, especially you need to kill some time. You don’t have to be so invested in the story or the characters, but hitting hyper clowns in the face with a tennis ball never gets old. There is a sense of immersion thanks to the soundtrack, the artwork, and the little air bubble banter. I also think the price for the game is perfectly reasonable as well. I think a fair rating for this game is an 8 out of 10.