iPad Game Review: Flick Tennis College Wars HD Reviewed by ColeDaddy
Rolocule is a game developer that had a bit of a rocky start with its first game months ago. However, with Flick Tennis College Wars HD, Rolocule has redeemed its name and come back strong with a vengeance!
Rolocule announces its latest game as an RPG comic book adventure. While the strip's line-work isn't the most professional, the paneled artwork is sufficient enough to capture the characters' emotions and keeps the episodic storyline moving along at a good clip. The writing and editing definitely make up for what is lacking in the pencils. Additionally, the continuously-looping soundtrack layered over the panels is so well-produced and aggressive, that it is strong enough to pull readers into the drama unfolding before them, despite the rough, sketchy four-colored work.
This could very well be the finest tennis game on the iOS market today?bar none.
While the tutorial was a bit text-heavy at first glance (the default ALL CAPS lettering didn't help make me feel very welcome either), the tutorial was informative and ultimately, very helpful.
Even if you aren?t a veteran of tennis games, thankfully an expert handling of a racquet isn't a prerequisite in excelling at your game. Each level is broken up into episodes, gradually becoming more difficult as you progress onward. There are four key strokes gamers must master early on while paying particular attention to the background information leaked to you prior to facing your opponent. It is these helpful nuggets of wisdom that are generously dropped before the match starts that gamers must key on if they wish to defeat their opponent and advance onto further stages.
Your accumulated gameplay acumen is greatly rewarded as certain skillsets must be mastered in order to defeat an opponent. If you weren't familiar with a certain stroke or ball placement on the court, you will have had your fill by the time you defeat your current episode's opponent. Just when you think you have a good command of the strokes, ball placement and court maneuvers, you're thrust into a doubles tournament which creatively fine-tunes your current skillset as you key off of your teammate's movement on the court, complementing one another on the fly with each stroke and counterstroke. This is a uniquely, challenging dynamic that I have only found in this game for the iOS, further catapulting its status as THE tennis game for the platform.
While the sketchy, hand-drawn pencil work for the episodic panels moves along with workmanlike efficiency as it piggybacks on the slick soundtrack, the computer generated work presents a mixed grab-bag of visuals. On my iPad 2, the extra real estate adds to the open-air environment an outdoor sport should capture. The background and foreground artwork can be dense with rich visuals making for a good heaping of eye-candy. However, the players on the court can at times show jagged line-work that isn't as clean or smooth. The distant camera angle, though, grants the artwork some visual-forgiveness and the exciting gameplay, frankly, is engrossing enough to allow for some creative license.
The animation chugs along at a good clip, with no stalls or hiccups whatsoever. If you're doing terribly on a level, a quick refresh of court gameplay allows you to breathe a sigh of relief along with some much-needed grace, just long enough for you to brace yourself for the competition again.
For the most part, the controls are precise and consistent throughout. However, angling the serving ball's path for that timely ace is pretty difficult. Additionally, a spot on one side of the court where I was able to place an ace isn't mirrored exactly when serving and placing the ball on its mirror image on the opposite side. The placement of where the balls land doesn?t reflect perfect symmetry. A minor niggle, really, but noticeable enough to mention.
I've praised the soundtrack ad nauseum. Good ear-candy, really. The in-game, digitally-produced sounds, such as crowd reaction and court play, definitively produce a rich and distinctive gaming accent, transporting players to the scene of all the action. The animation and sounds are a perfect marriage made in gaming heaven.
Flick Tennis College Wars HD (say THAT ten-times really fast!) boasts the best tennis game that I've ever played on any mobile platform. The action is fast and furious with accurate stroke reads and finely tuned ball placement. This tennis game sets the bar very high for future tennis games to come. Its gameplay, while intuitive is both challenging and entertaining. For all games involving a racquet and ball, Rolocule's Flick Tennis College Wars HD, stands all by itself as the standard bearer.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4.5 - Episodic line-work is sketchy, but the gameplay graphics and animation are colorfully rendered and dense. Sound: - 5 - The thumping soundtrack is infectious and the in-game sound board perfectly marries action with animation Controls: - 4.5 -Well-thought out and accurate. However, I still can't figure out how to slam an incoming lob?? Gameplay: - 4.5 - Fast, forward-moving. Smooth as silk; intuitive and quick to pick up
Overall: - 4.75 - No other ?racquet and ball? game on the iOS or any other mobile platform, for that matter, even compares. Unmatched. Nonpareil.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Don't skip through the paneled drama. Listen for gameplay nuggets that betray the opponent's strength and weaknesses.