Overall Score 60%
Dream Match Tennis
Now isn't this something special. After weeks of reviewing the usual puzzle games, we get to see a sports title for our latest review and it isn't just any sport, it's tennis! Now, I'm a huge tennis fan and believe that the sport is crying out for some recognition in the world of PC gaming. So, does this game have more Federer in it than Henman?
The first thing to note is that the developer of Dream Match Tennis has actually worked on a few non-PC games before its entry into the tennis genre. The Bimboosoft website states that previous games have been developed for Sega's Dreamcast and Sony's PS2. After reading this, my expectation were raised a little as I looked forward to the next Virtua Tennis.
Sadly, despite the ambition of the developer, Dream Match isn't up to the same high standards as the tennis games we've been treated to on home consoles. What we have instead is a competent, if slightly bland, regular tennis game, bereft of any of the added mini-games that make other games in the genre so memorable.
It is perhaps a little harsh of me to be comparing Bimboosoft's efforts to the likes of Top Spin, Virtua Tennis and even the venerable Mario Tennis games, especially when Dream Match Tennis will set you back a mere $4.95, but when you have such high calibre tennis games on the market, it is difficult not to look at them for reference.
Dream Match offers up Challenge and Exhibition modes of play, essentially a play-through Arcade mode and a Single Match option. Matches are played out on either Grass, Clay or Hard courts (no indoor court) and you have full control over the number of sets you play and the quality of your computer opponent. Computer AI is pretty good with 7 levels of difficulty ranging from Baby to Insane. Games can also be played against other human players on the same computer, but not across the Internet.
The gameplay is really what lets Dream Match down. Although you have 5 shot types available, I often felt that I was cheated during play by controls that just didn't feel right or by a computer shot that was simply too good for the skill level chosen. Shot selection is perhaps too complex as I often forgot which button to use.
Both graphics and audio are another small sticking point, though they don't really interfere with the game. Graphics are reasonable, certainly against other indie games, but player models and animation are a bit dull and uninspired. Sound effects are also in need of a little oomph to make you feel more involved.
Whether you choose to purchase Dream Match or not really depends on your circumstances. If you have any of the current generation games consoles I would look out for one of the games I've mentioned above as you should be able to find something that offers more lasting appeal. If you only own a PC or want something at a much better price, grab the demo and see how you go on.
Keywords: dream match tennis review, bimboosoft reviews, bimboosoft games, dream match tennis scores, pc game reviews, indie game reviews, independent gaming.