Remember playing Tennis on your 8-bit video game console and getting bugged by the slow character movements of the game? Now that we have advanced into the era of faster processing speeds and high definition displays, you can rejuvenate your love for the game by experiencing Flick Tennis developed by Rolocule for iOS devices.
Once you open the app on the iPad, you are greeted by the company's logo followed by a beautiful graphic of the game with a play button on the top right corner. The game has 3 modes namely: Story, Exhibition and Head-to-Head Multiplayer.
In Story mode, you don the role of Kevin Adams, who tries to live his father's dream of becoming an ace tennis player and get selected into the university team. The comic-based story mode spans through 11 episodes with 35 pages in all. The dramatic storyline is blended well into the game and keeps you engaged throughout.
The Exhibition mode includes both singles and doubles matches. In order to play doubles with an AI opponent, you must first win Episode 4. The Head-to-Head Multiplayer mode engages 2 players on the same device which was quite interesting and fun to experience. There are 2 camera angles that you can set to your liking.One gives you a long overhead view while the other is more closer to the ground.
The Home screen has various circular icons at the bottom to help you select your game requirements. The Tutorials guide you through Basic, Intermediate and Advanced levels of gameplay that will help you master the movements around the court and accordingly strategise to defeat your opponent.
As and when you unlock more Episodes, you get to experience gameplay on different court surfaces: Grass, Clay and Synthetic. There are a total of 11 courts with different environments like sports stadiums, practice courts etc. that you can play on. What adds to the realistic appeal of the game is the presence of an applauding audience and a match umpire to announce the scores and faults.
You can compete against 10 different characters whom you come across in the story. There are four different player types to choose from: Defensive Baseliner, Aggressive Baseliner, Volleyer and All Court Player. There are three options to select your opponent level: Beginner, Amateur and Professional. In order to play at the Amateur and Professional levels, you need to reach as far as Episode 5 and 8 respectively.
The graphics are really smooth and breathtaking and you can play effortlessly without having to worry too much about additional buttons or controls. They are swipe-based and quite intuitive. You can play four kinds of shots which are colour coded for your comfort by swiping your fingers. The swipe has to be timed perfectly to return a shot or serve the opponent. For ground strokes (white line), you need to swipe your index finger in the upward direction. A drop shot(cyan line) requires you to swipe in the downward direction which is useful when the opponent is way back at the baseline.
You need to use your index and middle fingers to swipe upwards for a slice shot (yellow line) and downwards to lob (violet line) the ball. The latter is recommended when the opponent approaches the net. However, this can be tricky to use. If you use the lob shot while the opponent is at the baseline, then be prepared for a smash right at you. However, you can also do the same. The swipe action using two fingers does take a bit of getting used to. If you swipe too early, the shot might be inaccurate and if you're late, then you will miss out on the shot entirely.
When played on the iPod Touch, the game seemed identical with the screen size being the only difference.
To wrap it up, this is one app we would definitely recommend you to try. We'd like to mention that Flick Tennis won the People's Choice Award at the International Mobile Gaming Awards 2012
. It is a perfect mix of an engaging storyline and addictive gameplay that ensures you never have a dull moment. Flick Tennis: College Wars HD
(iPad, $3.99 - reviewed here)Flick Tennis: College Wars HD Free
(iPad, Free)Flick Tennis: College Wars
(iPhone/ iPod Touch, $1.99)