Mobile Gaming Month: Hit Tennis 3 iOS Review

As part of Mobile Gaming Month, BWP will be bringing you reviews of our favorite games on the Playstation Vita, 3DS and iOS platforms from the last year, and even beyond with Retro Reviews! Click here for a continuously updated list of links to the reviews, and what to expect in the coming days!
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Hit Tennis 3 is the sequel to the smash hit (get it?) Hit Tennis 2, which got over 13M downloads on the appstore. It does a great job recreating the game on tennis for the most part, but could definitely use a little more depth.

The gameplay is pretty straightforward, but takes A LONG time getting used to. To hit a ball, simply swipe your finger in whichever direction you want the ball to go. It sounds simple in theory, but is a little testy in practice. I'll admit I was so frustrated with the game's responsiveness the first few games that I strongly considered deleting the app, never to play it again. I decided to stick with it because well, I love tennis, and there aren't that many (are there any really?) tennis games on the iPhone. After a while, you realize that in order to control the landing you need to extend your swipe to the area of the court where you want the ball to hit. When you get the hang of it, you can hit the shots necessary to beat the tougher opponents, who only really show up at level five.

One big problem with the ball physics is you can't really control the strength of your shots. The game decides that for you and results in some missed opportunities more often than not. It also almost nullifies the serve advantage, although once you master the swiping technique you can make the ball land on the extremes to force your opponent to the outside and easily win on the second shot. Another problem is the game sometimes randomly decide a ball won't make it and results in the ball hitting the net, even though you swiped correctly. It's frustrating but is there to mimic real tennis.

The game's UI is definitely its weakest point. There are no options, and to play opponents in the three different courts (two are unlocked as you progress) you must cycle through them by going through your apartment, instead of simply selecting who you want to play. The game feels more like a tech demo than a full game, and the lack of options is hopefully something that will be addressed with future updates.

The game has six AI characters who level up at the same pace you do and get tougher at every level. In reality, only two of the five propose a real challenge while the others can be easily dismantled once you have the gameplay figured out. It's definitely weird that one level 9 character completely sucks while the other seems invincible at times, but I guess it doesn't really matter in the end. As far as my experience goes, there's no limit to how high you can level up, as I'm currently level 9 after playing for several hours.

Hit Tennis 3 is a flawed game with no real depth, but it's a challenging time waster that can be as rewarding as anything I've played on mobile.

It's free, too! Can't go wrong with that.

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