Personal Computer News

Match Point

Author: Bryan Skinner
Publisher: Sinclair Research
Machine: Spectrum 48K

Published in Personal Computer News #073

Tennis Menace

Tennis Menace

Wimbledon may be over, but that doesn't mean you have to forget tennis for another year. Sinclair has just released Match Point to let you act out your favourite McEnroe fantasies.

The game closely resembles Atari's Tennis, and while you can't play doubles, you can play against your Spectrum or a human opponent, or just sit and watch an exhibition match.


Match Point

Beating your opponent is the name of the game and as this version is played according to standard lawn tennis rules, this means winning a match which is played over three or five sets, the winner being the first to reach either two or three sets respectively. Within each set, the winner is the first to win size games and have a clear lead of two. All the rules are clearly explained on the inlay and, as the computer keeps the score, there's no point challenging it.

In Play

The view over the green court is from the commentary box, the umpire sitting halfway down on the right and the ball boys crouching at mid-left. They even run onto the court to retrieve net shots. The players are very well drawn, though they're somewhat knock-kneed and their racquets on the large side.

Match Point

The crowd is shown by simple blobs of colour in the spectators' stands, while the player's names, the previous sets, the current score, etc, are displayed at the rear of the court and any linesman's calls are shown at the foot of the screen.

Choosing skill levels means selecting the quarterfinals, semi-finals or if you feel capable, the finals themselves. There is also the option to select the number of sets - one, three or five.

Control is via keyboard or joystick, and while a joystick is really necessary to make the most of the game, and you customise the keyboard control for each player. The Psion program automatically sets your stroke to fore- or backhand, but sometimes it seems a bit arbitrary as to whether you hit the ball or not. The type of shot is also varied according to your movement when you hit the ball, giving lob shots, volleys and drop-shots.


With the two player option, the classy graphics and the number of options, Sinclair has produced a good'un - far better than some of its recent attempts to entice Spectrum owners.

Bryan SkinnerClare Gurton

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