All About Fun and Less About Rules: Sports Head Tennis
There is a very unique charm in the Sports Head game series –after all, purists who love physical sports are likely to be initially put off by the very off-hand approach that the developers took with the games. And yet, the end result is something that lends itself nicely to the browser based Flash gaming format. Sports Head Tennis takes the idea of bouncing a ball over the net with racquets then fills it up with the concept of a limited boundary that bounces the ball back when it gets too high, randomly appearing power-ups that twist and turn the tide of the game, and oddly designed player characters to choose from.
Sports Head Tennis is more likely to appeal to a non-sports audience than those who actually play the sport. After all, there is less in this game about running around the court and more about having the ball bounce on strange borders and getting power-ups along the way. As a game, Sports Head Tennis is fun and certainly worth playing even for just a bit. As a sports simulator, players will want to go and try something else. It may seem a little misleading, considering the title of the game, but Sports Head is already an established series of sport parodies.
The characters in Sports Head Tennis are limbless and bodiless entities equipped with large floating heads, a pair of hands, and feet. They come in unique and quirky designs and when playing the game, one cannot help but wish that want to customize them fully into personally designed avatars. That said, they make for excellent player-visuals with the rest of the game. Sure, most of the details seem crudely made and are reminiscent of earlier flash creations, but cohesively, each of the various in-game images go well together as a whole.
The difficulty of the game lies in both the controls and the unpredictable physics. Moving around the stage is easy with the lateral left and right movement, but getting your swings right is a completely different thing. Expect to lose to your first few opponents simply by slamming the ball on your side of the net. It will take a decent amount of time to get past the clumsiness of the controls, and some players may find this too frustrating. The second issue of the game is the fact that figuring out the trajectory of the ball is barely intuitive at all. The way that the ball bounces, arcs, and moves around the stage seems a little displaced and inconsistent (which further adds to the control issues). This also means that being able to carefully plan your swinging positions will be quite difficult at first.
Overall, Sports Head Tennis is a great game to play if you are looking for a quick gaming fix and only a short time to spare. Of course, there is still the issue of getting past the controls but that is not that big of a deal if you manage to hit a few power-ups every now and then. It will not sate any tennis gamers’ appetites, but it will keep you amused for a while.