Review Stickman Tennis 2015
A frustrating tennis experience with some surprising depth
Author: Brandon Girod
Date: 11 Apr 2017, tested on HTC One M8
The aesthetic is surprisingly good, there are a lot of fun rpg elements
The tutorial doesn't explain any of the gameplay mechanics, the easy difficulty is horribly balanced
Stick men have had a long lineage in what I can only assume has originated since the beginning of mankind. It’s an easy but powerful symbol and has been the base of awesome Flash games since Flash games existed. Stickman Tennis 2015 for Android is a game that puts these timeless figures in a battle of felt balls being smacked towards each other. How’s that for imagery?
I’ll get to the point here, this game is hard and I’m really bad at it and for once I’m going to blame it on the tutorial. You see, there is a lot of intricate depth in here that is hidden away until you face off against the first AI opponent and get smacked in the face by one of its fast balls. Think of the tennis game in Wii Sports. There is definitely more here than meets the eye.
The controls are set up in a typical on-screen button layout. You have a joystick that moves your character around but you can also choose to have your character move automatically. Then you get three types of swings that all feel pretty much identical to me. The game fails to explain what each does, it also fails to explain how to serve properly, when to correctly time a hit, and how to perform powerful serves and hits in general.
As you play through your pitiful career, you can level up your character’s stats. This might have helped out a decent bit, but it doesn’t remove the fact that in the beginning you’re faced against insurmountable odds and are generally stuck in a losing streak until you can level up your character to actually win.
I really wanted to like Stickman Tennis 2015 and maybe I still can if it gets rebalanced. However, it’s just downright difficult starting off and that lead me down a pretty frustrating experience. The gameplay is there, but it actually needs a good tutorial to really open up and highlight the game’s mechanics.