Apr 2, 2015
What the original Wii did for console gaming is something that is oft discussed, and with good reason. The motion-sensing aspect was fantastic in that helped create gamers out of people who were not, well, prototypical gamers. It helped make console gaming more of a family event.
I should know; still have one.
What the Wii also did, for me at least, was it somewhat changed how I look to play some games. For example, with regards to shooting games, I expect to have a shooting peripheral. Golf games were best played with a “stick” that incorporated the Wii controller. Tennis? Never better than with a racquet accessory.
Motion Tennis Cast brings some of that Wii-type experience direct to Android devices, simply by living up to the sum total of the components of its name: it brings together device motion and the Chromecast dongle to frame a tennis simulation.
The game links to one’s Chromecast (or other casting options), and then allows the player to play a casted tennis game while using the phone as a simulated racquet.
There is a quick tutorial, a couple different modes, surfaces and virtual opponents of differing abilities. The gameplay itself is simple to understand, with different shots and traditional tennis scoring. Swinging one’s device simulates hitting the ball. The engine is fairly forgiving, and with a little practice, one can replicate unique moves fairly easily. There is also multiplayer options online for limited swathes of time (wasn’t able to connect to this).
A few things that do come up as potential issues is the phone as a controller. Great in theory, but if one ever wonders why Nintendo made such a big deal of wrist-straps, this game will probably help folks to understand. It’s easy to get into the game, and I did feel a bit uneasy using the control phone without a some sort of restraint. Along those lines, it feels a bit easier to play on smaller-sized smartphones versus, say, larger phablets, depending on hand size obviously.
Then, the game itself looks like it could use some polish with regards to the visuals and responsiveness. The animations are more than recognizable, but are a bit rote-like in places, and the control mechanism can be a bit unpredictable now and then. And, goodness, if a game ever was made for more multiplayer options (beyond Time Attack Online), this is it; if there is a way for the developer to add these, I am not too proud to beg. I especially like the incorporation of multiple casting options.
Still, if only on premise alone, Motion Tennis Cast is pretty nifty. It’s a cool game that is enjoyable to try and easy to get into. It’s one of the more interesting ones we have seen in some time.