Okay, so the last free app I spent an hour with was probably one of the worst things I’ve ever allowed onto my phone. Still, there has to be an incredible free app out there. Given the sheer number of free apps available, finding one is inevitable. Rejuvenated by that (potentially stupid) hope, it’s time for another free app review. Today’s game? Hit Tennis 3.
How did I find it?
My previous method of choosing something related to a word I had used throughout the day wasn’t working, so I played it safe and went through the “Top 25″ of free apps. Hit Tennis 3 appeared at the bottom of the list:
I used to be crazy about Virtua Tennis on the Dreamcast, so a tennis game seemed right up my alley. At the very least, it was unlikely that there’d be any creepy sexualized cartoons to deal with (I’m still scarred by Darklord Legends), so it had that going for it right off the bat.
The first thing I noticed
It has a weird art style, but that’s fine. I was soon faced with a screen that had two options:
Clicking “How to Play” brings up a simple little explanation about how you hit the ball by swiping your finger, offering the genius insight that swiping faster makes the ball go faster (duh). Seemed simple enough, though those who know nothing about tennis might need extra explanation about the rules, and I didn’t notice anything like that. Then again, someone who knows nothing about tennis probably wouldn’t download an app called “Hit Tennis 3,” so I suppose it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.
How does it actually play?
At its best, it’s kind of like a cross between Mario Tennis and Virtua Tennis. It’s not really cartoon-ish like the former, but neither does it possess the realism of the latter. It’s really somewhere in the middle; you never forget that you’re playing tennis with your finger, which I suppose is fine since that’s exactly what you’re doing. You play to 2 games, so matches rarely last long, though you can engage in “tournaments” to get trophies. All that really means is playing against several different characters in a row, though.
And at its worst?
If there’s an ugly side to this game, it’s definitely the controls. More specifically, I noticed that you can’t hit the ball right after it crosses over the net. Instead, you have to wait for it to bounce or get to a certain point—I wasn’t really able to tell which was the case. This means that if your opponent gently hits it so that it doesn’t go that far back, you can be completely unable to hit the ball back. Even worse, this means that swiping too early can (and often did) lead to the game suddenly registering the end of the swipe and sending the ball way off in the wrong direction. Very irritating.
Is there anything to keep you playing?
Kind of. You level up as you play, though the only thing that this seemed to affect was the amount of cash I had. You get tiny amounts of money when you level up:
You can use your earned money to unlock places:
Also, special upgrades:
How do you actually afford this stuff?
Since this is a free app and you make so little in-game money by playing, it should be obvious how you’re supposed to afford stuff. By paying in real life, of course:
Okay, that’s fair
It’s a free app, so I suppose it’s fine that they’re looking for ways to make money on it. Besides, new locations can be unlocked by beating certain opponents (though this can be frustrating thanks to the wonky controls), so even though it can take forever to unlock, it’s not like stuff is hidden behind a paywall. So long as that’s all they’re doing, no one can really fault them for charging for “tennis bucks.”
Oh right, it isn’t all they’re doing
Really? You have to deal with annoying ads on top of the annoying controls and annoying grind to get new stuff? Yeah, you do. I suppose it could be said that the game has promise, but seriously. Too much monetization, too little fun.
It’s not a worthwhile app and I deleted it as soon as the hour was up, but at least I didn’t want to claw my eyes out like I did with Darklord Legends. I suppose that means things are at least headed in the right direction. Here’s hoping.