The hero of Tennis To The Face is Pandre Pagassi, a fallen tennis superstar who blames his downfall on the energy drink, Explodz, and is now out to wreak vengeance against the manufacturer of the drink, and anyone else who stands in his way. Each level tasks Pagassi with smashing his balls into the various enemies throughout the stage. These change through the game, starting with sadistic looking clowns and moving onto coffee carrying hipsters, SWAT team members, scientists and business execs.
The main differentiator between this and every other Angry Birds clone that I’ve played is that you can take the properties of the tennis ball into account, and as such rebounding your balls off hard surfaces is often the way to progress through levels. In essence, Tennis To The Face is an Angry Birds clone featuring tennis balls and human characters instead of birds and villainous pigs. Problematically, it doesn’t have the tactical complexity of Angry Birds. One of the strengths of that title was the variety of different attacks you had at your disposal from the various birds. Tennis To The Face is limited to 2 different methods of attack; standard tennis balls or cans of Explodz that do damage on contact and then explode a few seconds later. Whilst there is some differentiation in the enemy characters, the police have shields and scientists need two shots to defeat, it doesn’t add up to enough variation to keep the game feeling fresh throughout your time with it. Once you’ve got the angles down you’ve pretty much got the game sussed out, and I picked up all 100% of the trophies of the game within 3 hours of starting playing.
In terms of presentation, it’s sub-standard throughout. While the characters are well drawn, there’s absolutely no variation between them, so when you’ve seen one hipster or scientist then you’ve seen them all and then add into that one of the most soul crushingly repetitive scores every committed to video games. It’s so bad, so completely awful, that I ended up muting the game while I played.
I can’t lie, there’s *is* some fun to be had here, and there’s something oddly satisfying about cracking a hipster around the back of the head with a rebounding tennis ball, but it’s really hard to shake the feeling that these sort of games are far better suited to mobile phones and tablets, despite the inclusion of support of the PS4 touchpad. I believe that Tennis To The Face, it’s spiritual ancestor Angry Birds and other such titles are designed for a quick 5 minute blast on a commute or lunch break, and not really worth booting a console up.
MLG Rating: 3/10 Format: PlayStation 4 Release Date: Out Now
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Tennis in the Face by the publisher for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of 1 week on a PlayStation 4. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.