Not to be confused with the SNES game of the exact same name, Super Tennis (Switch eShop) might be one of the most misleading games available this generation. From screenshots and even the trailer, it should be assumed this is a simple pixel-based tennis simulation. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth as all gameplay is nothing more than one QTE event. In fact, this game has more in common with rhythm games like Space Channel 5 or DDR than tennis.
The tennis aspect is something that visually happens in the background that correlates with the speed and accuracy of button presses and actually has nothing to do with the gameplay. In the middle of the screen are button prompts. When a string of buttons are successfully tapped without flaw, a meter on the top of the screen grows. If the player hits the wrong button, the meter shrinks. Miss too many times and it is instant game over and your little tennis player in the background will fault and lose the one-point match. Once the meter fills completely, you win and start the next match against the next opponent. Each match is only one point and usually takes about 15-30 seconds a piece. While it might only take a minute or two to complete an entire tournament, it is rather frustrating to lose in the final match and needed to restart from the beginning. However, tapping the corresponding button on the controller to what is shown on screen is the entire game. There is nothing more and nothing less. It gets repetitive by the end of the first tournament and there are no multiplayer options and no doubles play.
Each button on the controller will the used including both sets of trigger buttons and even the directions on the d-pad. In time, the player will need to tap each button in a shorter and shorter amount of time. The player can only participate in tournament style play too. Once you win one tournament, the next one unlocks and becomes more difficult with faster button presses, more buttons to press in each sequence, and tournaments with more opponents. There is no option to play just one game, for example.
The only reason why this game sports the tennis theme is to give the player an excuse to unlock something. With each win, currency is collected and can be spent to unlock new playable sprites. For example, the player can unlock a Snake character that was ripped off from Metal Gear or even Mr. T. There are dozens to unlock and will take time to unlock them all. However, there really isn’t any point since the only difference is cosmetic. The pixel art does look like something from a forgotten NES game but the soundtrack and announcer are always annoying. With each return, the announcer makes some stupid arbitrary comment and the one musical track is on a 10 second loop.
Super Tennis on Switch is nothing more than Simon-Says; this is not an actual tennis game. Even if the tennis theme was removed, it would still be the exact same game. With mislead, limited appeal, players are much better off playing the SNES game of the same name.
Not As Good As: an actual tennis game
Also Try: Shenmue’s quick time events
Wait For It: Sports Story (Switch)