Tournament Tennis is an early tennis game featuring or even creating many conventions that would become standard features in later tennis simulations. Matches can be played at quarter-final, semi-final or final level - winning at one level automatically moves the player to the next one. They can last for 3 or 5 sets, with a player requiring a 2-game lead to win a set, though a tie-break comes in at 6-6 in all but the final set.
The view is pseudo-3D, from above the court, and features a shadow on the ball to give its motion a more realistic appearance and make it easier to judge the ball's height. Spectators turn their heads to view the action, and ball boys run on to the court to retrieve dead balls. Shot speed, direction and spin can all be applied, and both forehand and backhand strokes are available.
First time I saw this game was when I had just gotten my Commodore 64. I found it to be a great game not only because it was my first tennis game but also because the game was fairly good looking as well as easy to control. The speed could be a bit slow but you were used to that when you had a Commodore 64 which was a great gaming computer but not very good when it had to actual work.
Of course the graphics are not impressive at all in this CGA PC version but the game has kept its original graphics and only the colours are different. You can play against either the computer or another human player (if you can manage to divide the keyboard up correctly since the predefined controls can't be changed and the setup is not very well made). Tennis PC doesn't offer anything special other than the regular single match selection but for some reason I like this simplicity.
It's not impressive but the game isn't too bad either although I can think of many other Tennis games I would rather play - all of them are newer though.
Looking at game titles is one good way to tell the 'pioneers' in specific genres apart from the followers. So when a game is called simply Tennis, you can count on it being one of the oldest tennis games ;)
Not that Tennis is a bad game. It is actually a pretty decent tennis game for one or two players on the same computer. Aside from primitive (but not bad for its time) four-color CGA graphics, the gameplay is limited to single match play. But it makes up for the limitations by giving you a decent depiction of a tennis match. All the rules are implemented, and the players are animated smoothly. It may not be as much fun as tennis games on the Atari 2600, but for a 1986 PC game, it is not bad at all.
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