Remember the early days of electronic entertainment when you thrilled to the plink-plonk, the black 'n white display, the difficult-to-control paddles of the original tennis games? Now you can re-live those glorious days with Ubisoft's latest ST release Pro Tennis Tour - the all new, fast colour version of one of the oldest computer games.
You're presented with a menu screen offering tournament and various practice modes, as well as a chance to examine the current seedings (including your own). Since you're seeded down in the low 60s there's plenty of room for progress!
Selecting practice mode takes you to another screen where you can elect to play against a ball-serving machine, try out your own service or just play a friendly. This is especially useful for novices attempting to learn the rudiments of service, ball return and control. Another tap at the keyboard and you're into tournament mode, pitted against some of the best players in the world and rallying for your life in an attempt to claw your way to the top.
Pro Tennis Tour features excellent 3D fast colour graphics, smooth animation, sexy sounds and digitised speech - transgress the white lines and you're regaled with a bellowed "Out!"
Unfortunately for McEnroe fans there's no opportunity to indulge in tantrums and contest umpire's decisions.
Players move with agility and grace and the ball is easy to track across the court. If you don't make a return then check your joystick twiddling - jerky animation is not an excuse in this game.
Sound is merely droning elevator musak, but a tweak of the volume control provides blissful release. There's lost of quality spot effects which enhance the game and add to the sense of "being there".
Well programmed, splendidly decorated, Pro Tennis Tour is addictive and fun to play. You may experience a certain frustration in the opening games as you fumble easy ball returns, run to the wrong side of the court and generally misjudge everything, but a little application will soon have you rallying with the best of them. And besides, if you don't have to try, it ain't much fun, right?
Instant appeal for those whose sole existence is dedicated to the manipulation of little hairy green balls, but non-tennis fans will also become devoted to the cross court carnage.