Home Computing Weekly

Centre Court
By Amsoft
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Home Computing Weekly #102

A tennis simulation and a tricky one! You can watch the computer play itself, play the computer, or play a friend using keyboard or joysticks. Having selected an option, no instructions can be found to get out of it! In the end, I discovered the TAB key does the job. The instructions are generally weak.

The game starts with a huge racquet bouncing a ball complete with sound, then following option choice, drawn onto the court drawn in perspective to give 3D. The judges, umpire and crowd are all there, animated at various points. The heads of the crowd follow the action, and cheers resound after each point scored. Even the sound of the ball being hit is here! The players are little more than animated stick-persons but they do run and serve well, and ball movement is very natural, albeit in slow motion. If it were full speed, you'd never score a point!

All the scoring conventions are observed including tie-breakers, but service and return of the ball are rather different. To serve, the fire button is pushed once to throw the ball into the air, and again to hit it. The timing of this controls the strength of service. To return the position of the player; together with the direction of his movement determine both strength and direction. It takes a bit of getting used to, but once done, a good game results.

Recorded only "load now-play later mode;" Centre Court has reasonable graphics, clever sound, and lasting appeal.


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