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Tournament Tennis (pc game)
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  • Preparing to serve the ball
  • Courtesy of My Abandonware.
  • Courtesy of My Abandonware.
  • Courtesy of My Abandonware.
  • Courtesy of My Abandonware.

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Game, set and match

While it might seem crude now, Tournament Tennis is actually something of historically important note, laying down many of the conventions which are now considered the standard for tennis games. It lacks the visual flash and realistic physics that came with later games but it stands comfortably alongside Virtua Tennis and Perfect Ace as an important gaming artifact as well as a fun little game in its own right. In many ways, it's what is now considered a standard tennis game, with the action playing out from a pseudo 3D, overhead view and although there is a lack of the expected options that come with modern genre entries, the core gameplay is what counts here. Thanks to the inclusion of the then innovative shadow on the ball, its motion is more realistic than you might expect from the time and gives the game an extra element which makes it eminently playable. The range of shots a skilled player can pull off is also impressive, with shot speed, direction and spin all capable of being controlled and which again adds to the realism factor. In pretty much every way, Tournament Tennis can be considered a success, even when taking its age into account. The computer opponents are suitably challenging, putting up a decent fight that will keep even hardened tennis vets at the top of the game. The controls are pretty intuitive and once you've got the hang of them, you'll be dancing across the court like a pro. Visuals are expectedly simple but there are plenty of nice touches like the roving ball boys and animated audience to give some character to proceedings, so really if you like old-school tennis games, give this one a whirl.

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