This latest addition to Commodore's International Sports series is interesting when compared to Activision's On-Court Tennis. Simpler in concept, the game has a charm all of its own.
The choice of viewpoint differs from Activision in that it shows a lateral view of the court rather than looking from the base line of one court as in the typical TV picture. I found that this overcomes the problem of judging the speed and position of the ball quite effectively and gave a much more satisfactory game.
The choice of the number of strokes to be played lacks the variety possible with On-Court Tennis and yet the game is just as enjoyable.
If you now think I preferred Commodore's simulation to Activision's, you'd be right.
There are four levels of play to choose from and each match follows the rules of tennis closely, with the inclusion of a tie breaker for sets which go to six games all.
To position your player simply involves the normal eight joystick positions and holding down the fire button while moving the joystick delivers one of nine possible strokes. These strokes give all the combinations of long, medium and short returns eight straight or angled up or down across the court.
The graphics are a little crude but not so bad that they interfere with the gameplay, I think acceptable is the word. The sound is a little crude as well and the title screen, which has smooth scrolling credits like a TV program, uses repetition of the crowd's burst of applause (white noise) which I found immensely irritating. One nice touch however is the eye movements of the crowd as they follow the balls' flight through the air. My verdict? The eyes have it.