If L. S. Lowry were to program a tennis game for the CPC, it would probably look something like this. Er, actually it probably wouldn't, seeing as how L. S. Lowry can't program. And he's dead. And he'd be far more likely to write an art package anyway.
While it's clear that Mr. Lowry would not, after all, write a game like this, there can be no doubt that L. S. would like this game immensely. It's got matchstick men and matchstick cats and dogs in it, you see. (Er, except the cats and dogs.) As a result, it looks really stupid, especially since the sprites follow true-to-life animation, with lines and triangles wobbling around all over the place. Trés weird.
It looks nob, but how does it play? Really well, as a matter of fact. Most tennis sims are really difficult to get into, with tricky serving manoeuvres and getting-into-position strife to get to grips with. On the first skill level (Amateur), International 3D Tennis takes care of all that bobbins for you. It automatically moves your little man/woman/penguin into the right place and flashes like mad when it's time for you to hit Fire. You've only got to worry about trying to direct the shot away from the opponent.
Things get trickier on the higher skill levels (Semi-Pro and Pro) when you have to deal with returning the shots yourself. Yikes! The realism and spot-on gameplay means you'll want to start getting stuck into this advanced play as early as possible. (You can't lose on Amateur level - not unless you're really, really crap!)
Don't judge on appearances, fellow games-heads. Sometimes the ugliest people are the most interesting (that's what I keep telling people anyway), and the same goes for games. If tennis is your bag, then so's International 3D Tennis.
Original release: July 1990
Original publisher: Palace
Original score: 81% (AA59)
Looks dead stupid, but plays better than any other tennis game. For the tennis novice and the hardcore.