Stick Tennis iPhone game review: We smack some balls around in this classic mobile game from the creators of Stick Cricket and Stick Soccer.
Stick Sports Ltd has just released its latest Stick sports game, Stick Tennis Tour – check out our full review if you haven’t already – but that game is actually a sequel to the original Stick Tennis iPhone game, which laid the foundations for the simple-yet-addictive gameplay despite a few little issues.
The beauty of the Stick sports games for iOS is their simplicity, and Stick Tennis is no different. This iPhone sports sim sees you taking on tennis stars across the globe, but the controls are as simple as they come; no awkward on-screen directional pads or other nonsense. Instead, you simply tap the screen to toss the ball in the air and swipe a direction to serve, then swipe again to return until the point is won.
You have a little extra control, in that you can also swipe down to perform a drop shot. But your tennis superstar runs about on their own accord, so you only have to worry about getting those balls back into your opponent’s half of the court.
Stick Tennis boasts a selection of modes to choose from, including a basic practice mode to hone your skills, a World Domination mode which pits you against tennis champions past and present, and a Slams mode which sees you defeating a series of opponents one at a time. There’s also a neat little Challenge mode which gives you a mini objective to complete every day, with one chance to beat it. And if you want to play with a mate, you can do so by logging in with your Facebook account.
The game itself is free to download, although you’ll need to pay up £2.29 to unlock the entire World Domination mode. You’ll also need to splash out on real money in order to unlock better rackets, which help to speed up your shots and reduce the likelihood of smacking the ball out of the court. These pro rackets cost anything from 79p up to an arse-clenching £23, which of course makes Stick Tennis as expensive as many recent console games if you want the best possible advantage.
Thankfully you’ll most likely be fine splashing out £4.49 on the Ultima GS 5, which boasts strong accuracy and decent power too, but I’d have preferred to pay two or three quid for the full game and then earn the better rackets with fake tournament cash.
The dreaded in-app purchases aren’t Stick Tennis’ only issue. The game is also rather unstable in its current form, with bizarre crashes and glitches occasionally popping up to throw you off. The only way to get around these bugs is to close down the game and try again, but you’ll often find that your opponent has gained a few points in the meantime, which is especially annoying in the one-chance-only challenge mode.
I also noticed a couple of little deviations from the standard tennis rules, such as the complete absence of Let when you brush the net on your serve. This counts as a fault, which can be quite frustrating when it means losing a crucial point.
Despite these complaints, Stick Tennis is still a fun game and well suited to quick five-minute gaming sessions. At the very least it’s free to try out, so give it a go and decide whether you like it enough to stump up real money for better equipment and extra gameplay.
Stick Sports Ltd’s latest title Stick Tennis Tour has just hit the App Store and is free to download. We’re busy testing it out for a full review, coming soon.