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Sport: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

Other Links

Chris Bourne

Did you thrill to Wimbledon this year? Do you dream that one day you too will beat Boris Becker or thrash Martina Navratilova in three straight sets? Well, Tennis, IMAGINE's conversion of the Konami arcade game might help realise your dreams to some extent.

In this version of tennis, the computer can play singles with one player or doubles against two players fighting for keyboard space. Alternatively, two humans can fight it out, head to head. The scoring and rules are taken from real tennis, except the computer acts as umpire too, flashing decisions onto a central screen at the back of the court. There's no room of argument: if the ball lands on a line then the shot is 'in'; if it lands outside a boundary line the shot is 'out'.

Players take it in turns to serve, with the service changing after each game. To serve, press fire to lob the ball into the air, and fire again to send the ball flying over the net. The timing of the second press of the fire button is crucial as it determines where the ball lands. If the ball lands 'out', the computer flashes a message onto the umpire screen and the server gets a second go. If you muck the second serve up as well then the point goes to your opponent.

The screen shows a tennis court as seen from the stands at one end. The direction keys or joystick control the movement of the player(s) on the court, and a prod of the fire button at the appropriate moment makes a shot the stroke played depends on the direction in which the volleying player is facing.

During each game the score for each player or team is shown on the right of the court, and at the end of game the score is transferred to the main score board.

The audience watches anxiously from the very top of the screen. You must play your best as they're all rooting for you in amongst the bottles of bubbly and strawberries and cream.


'After the delights of IMAGINE's Ping Pong, I was hoping for an equally great follow up. Being both an avid table tennis player, and a bit of a tennis nut, I find it difficult to get excited about this game, especially as its sister program is so good. Compared to a good, challenging game of the real thing, IMAGINE 's version is more of a 'knock the sponge ball over the washing line with a plastic bat' game. Okay, so it scores correctly, follows the rules and has got all the lines in the right place, but the game itself is strongly lacking. Maybe fans of the arcade game (which I haven't seen) will flip over this, but speaking as a fan of the real thing, I don't like it much.'

'Ping Pong was a bit of a let down for me, so I didn't really expect much from this game and didn't really get much either. As sports simulations go Tennis is about average in most respects - it doesn't really bear much resemblance to the real thing but it is fairly good fun to play in snort doses. The graphics are disappointing: the characters are undetailed and the pitch is dull. The sound effects are also a little on the bland side with only a few effects and some very annoying little tunes. I would only recommend this one to hardened sports simulation freaks, as it isn't too compelling.'

'I'm the self-proclaimed Number One fan of Match Point, and I felt my favourite tennis game could be under threat from IMAGINE - who have come out with loads of good sports simulations on the Spectrum. After playing their conversion of Konami's Tennis for quite some time. I came away feeling that the game was lacking, both in the overall number of shots you can play and in overall realism, found you had very little control, if any, over the type of shot you could play. The game always seemed to be on the move - if the computer player wasn't moving frantically between 8 and 10 pixels to the left and right, it was the constant, uncontrollable tapping of your player's foot on the court. I found this extremely irritating and tiring on the eyes. Tennis didn't play properly: it takes a while to get used to the ball bouncing at different heights at the most unreal moments, and the players seemed to like the idea of running and hitting the ball at the same time. Graphically, this game far outbashes the old PSION game, but as to who gets the Match Point . Need I say more?'

Control keys
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour mainly monochromatic
Graphics: not wonderfully detailed
Sound: burbly tunelet and spot beeps
Skill levels: one
Screens: just the court
General Rating: A disappointing tennis game - not the strongest of the Konami conversions by a long chalk.


Screenshot Text

Speccy 1 plays Speccy 2 and it's fifteen-love as the ball flies over the net...