Getting into the spirit early (Wimbledon 2013 gets underway on Monday next week), I figured I’d take a look at Stick Tennis by Stick Sports.
Games like Super Tennis on the SNES and Sega’s Virtua Tennis series have shown that the sport works incredibly well in videogame form, but how well does it translate to the touchscreen?
Quite well, I’d say.
In Stick Tennis, Stick Sports addresses the obvious shortcomings of touchscreen gaming by eliminating virtual buttons; ditto, the need to worry about movement.
Yep, your little guy (or lady) runs about the court automatically, and all you have to worry about is swiping at the correct time. If you swipe back the way, you’ll play a drop shot. Easy.
That’s all well and good in theory, but I did miss the ability to, well, move, and tennis games traditionally give you the option to add spin and what have you. Stick Tennis feels a little watered down – in terms of controls, at least.
As for game modes, there’s plenty going on in Stick Tennis, starting with the Casual Sets Tennis Club, which invites you to play against six fictional players in order to improve your game. In this mode, a little meter lets you know if you’re swiping too early or late.
In World Domination, Stick Tennis pits you against 32 all-time greats, including Andre Agassi, Björn Borg, Monica Seles and Steffi Graf. The first two levels (four opponents) are free, with the remainder costing £1.99.
In The Slams, you can play the first round of the 2013 French and Australian Opens for free, but progression demands a cheeky fee. In the shop, you can buy individual Slams for 69p, or packs for £1.49.
Speaking of the shop, that’s where you can also buy rackets to increase power and/or accuracy.
Finally, we have the Daily Challenge, with trophies up for grabs. You can buy replays if you fail, though they don’t appear to be a particularly big earner for Stick Sports (the top 10 in-app purchases are comprised of game modes and rackets).
And that’s Stick Tennis. Clearly plenty of stuff to do, with my only reservation being the aforementioned controls. There are times when you’ll find yourself willing the little characters to move in a particular direction, and it’s incredibly frustrating when they don’t.
Stick Tennis is also incredibly difficult, though that might simply be because I’m rubbish.
- Lots of modes
- Lots of real players
- Lots of courts/surfaces
- The limited controls
- Gets real hard real quick
- Fairly heavy on the freemium stuff
Summary: For tennis fans, you could do a lot worse than Stick Tennis, but be aware that you’ll have to pay to get the most from it.
Developer: Stick Sports
Price: free @ App Store
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.