Your Sinclair1st July 1991
Published in Your Sinclair #67
Back in the days when keyboards were rubber, there was a Speccy tennis game called Match Point. It seized the title of top racqueteer and has held it right up to this present day, fending off the likes of 3D international Tennis, and...um... (sounds of pages being rapidly turned) a couple others. But now Passing Shot's appeared (well actually, it's been re-released, but you know what I mean). And to put it simply, it's very, very good.
It's a one or two-player arcade conversion, viewed from above (but with head-on perspective for serving - more on that later). One neat touch is that the second player is the doubles partner of the first, so you can team up against the Speccy for a change. There are 4 types of shot (lob, flat, top spin and slice) and with a bit of practice you can soon hold your own against your computerised opponents. The graphics are small but smooth (although the overhead view means it's difficult to keep track of who's who in the doubles game) and, all in all, it's very professionally polished.
On the minus side, the difficulty levels are a bit cosmetic. They just specify how fast the players can move, with the Speccy following the same tactics throughout (ie always going for the ball). But this does mean that the gameplay is always kept brisk, and I find it's more enjoyable on the fastest setting anyway (So there!)
Also, the head-on perspective when you're serving is all a bit redundant. It's supposed to provide a clearer picture, but as the ball flashes when it's at the correct point in mid-air I have a sneaking suspicion the whole sequence is just there to break up the overhead views and show off some superior graphics. Still, this is more of a grump than a proper complaint.
And there you have it. Fast and furious, great for one player and excellent for two. And with a few extra brownie points for making the game a mixed doubles match, I'd tot that up as, ooh, a Your Sinclair Megagame. How's that for service?