Personal Computer News


Tennis

Author: Bob Chappell
Publisher: Atarisoft
Machine: Atari 400/800

 
Published in Personal Computer News #055

Game, Set And Match

Game, Set And Match

You can thrash McEnroe in straight sets in this brilliant video version of the sport.

Objectives

Play a singles match against the computer or against another player, or try a doubles match with you and your Atari against an opponent and Atari.

The game follows the proper rules of tennis as far as possible. Each match is the best of three sets, with normal scoring (including tie-breaks) and players changing service and ends at the right times.

In Play

Your player stands on the base line, bouncing the ball. A touch on the fire button and you serve to the forehand. Pull back on the joystick before serving and you serve to your opponent's backhand instead. The joystick controls your player. Don't worry about manipulating the racket - just get your player near enough to the ball and you automatically hit it.

The ball casts a shadow in flight - get to it before it bounces and the chances are you will execute an unstoppable volley.

Once you've got the hang of this, you can start trying to place your return. Assuming you've reached the ball, pressing the fire button causes your player to execute a lob. If you move the joystick and press fire simultaneously, the ball returns in the direction of the joystick movement.

Doubles is tremendous fun. The Atari controls your partner who fortunately plays a pretty mean game - so good you can sometimes almost sit back and enjoy the rallies.

The players are beautifully animated - services, in particular, look impressively natural.

The players can run to any part of their half of the court, covering side-line to side-line and base-line right up to the net. The ball bounces with a convincing thud and you hear a satisfying thunk as racket meets ball. Scores are given at the top of the screen.

Verdict

An ace of a program and as realistic a game of computer tennis as you're ever likely to get or want. The perspective, graphics and animation add up to a very impressive simulation indeed. Game, set and match to Atari Tennis.

Bob Chappell

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