Reviews: Tennis / Face, Gratuitous Space Battle, Anodyne, Stealth Bastard

There’s nothing funny about a tennis ball in the groin. .. but a tennis ball in the face. . . THAT’s FUNNY. Or, at least, Tennis in the Face—the new tennis / physics game from 10tons—is belly-achingly hilarious.

Pete Pagasii used to be a professional tennis player, but his career was ruined by the evil energy drinks company Explodz. Now he’s out to stop them using the almighty power of tennis baklls.

In Tennis in the Face you’ll be kicking the bejesus out of office workers with tennis balls. Tap and hold the screen and you will aim your shot, then simply release and watch the ball fly. You need to knock everyone out by hitting them in the face while using as few shots as you can. Some elements of the environment, like Explodz explosing cans, can be used to your advantage, but mostly you’ll be using your tennis skills.

Tennis in the Face is ridonulcous and hilarious and all kinds of other superlatives. From a strictly video game design school kinda perspective, it’s brilliantly designed and intuitive, and from a fat couch potato stand point, it’s just blinking funny.

Check out the Tennis in the Face website or use the iTunes box below to grab yourself a copy.  Enjoy!



Positech’s Gratuitous Space Battles is a pure joy for all space fans out there. And now it’s added to by the excellent new DLC “The Outcasts.”

Rather than being all about your finger dexterity and reflexes, success or failure in Gratuitous Space Battles will be determined by your strategy, meaning its the smarts that win this time around.

In Gratuitious Space Battles, you set up your ship and get to design it as you like, then position them in formation and send them off into battle.

In addition to the original game, a new piece of DLC has recently been released called The Outcasts, which gives you a new race called Vla-hurk 2.0. Now, admittedly, the name “Vla-hurk” sound a lot like the sound I make when vomiting, but it actually refers to a cybernetically enhanced religious race of exiles. They’ll bring with them ten new varities of ships, featuring lasers, tractor beams and their signature module, the Decoy Projector. The DLC also packs new missions in which you can fight against the Outcasts.

There’s a lot on offer in the new The Outcasts DLC and it’s quality content too. Head over to Positech and pick up your copy today.

Seth Hogan and Joanthan Kittaka’s Anondyne is an adventure wearing its 16bit heart on its sleathe as you journey through a Anodyne, a world at once cutesy and innocent yet surreal and dangerous.

Gameplay will be instantly reminiscent to RPG fans. Move with [Arrow], interact with [C], save at checkpoint with [C]. Your main weapon is a broom with which you can not only sweep dust but also attack enemies. You’ll collect new abilities as you progress too.

Perhaps the most important aspect of Anondyne is in the gathering of cards. There are 50 in total, which you’ll find hidden through Anondyne in chests and in dungeons. Collect all the cards in an area and a gem will light up in the game’s central hub area. This allows you to warp to different areas of the world. There are also locked areas that you must unlock by collecting a specified number of cards.

So, that’s the set-up of Anondyne. Does it deliver?

I love the atmosphere of Anondyne. You constantly feel as though you’re heading towards something spectacular, as though some amazing is right around the corner. This greatly helps to keep you hooked in the game, assuring you’ll play to the end.

The graphics will warm the heart of 16 bit RPG fans. The art is truly beautiful. Together with an excellent story, it creates a brilliantly presented title that will fully engross you in the game’s world.

Better than this, however, is the fact that Anodyne is simply really good fun. You definitely wont have played many RPGs more enjoyable than this. It creates a unique experience that you’ll remember for years.


Stealth Bastard. Catchy title. It’s not really about stealth, though, being more a 2D platform game with a bit of stealth splashed like a lick of paint over the top. The stealth component comes from your ability to use shadows and from various stealth gadgets, like cameras and traps.

Anyway, moving beyond the title.

Stealth Bastard is something of a puzzle / platform title in which your objective is to find the quickest route through a level. When you first start a level, you’ll want to examine the design to find the right route. This is really the bulk of the game—it’s much more about finding the right route rather than reflexes. You’ll need to work out and remember the position of traps, how to get to switches and other puzzle-like considerations.

You’ll be playing with either the keyboard or a controller (both are decent). The controls are plenty reliable enough.

Better than the controls is the depth of the game design. There are community maps making for hours and hours of gameplay, there are collectiable in the form of stealth suits that offer different abilities. There’s plenty enough here to keep you playing for a long time.

Despite the minor flaw that is the title of the game, once you get past the fact that Stealth Bastard is not a stealth game, you recognise that, whatever it is, it’s pretty darned good. The graphics and presentation are delightful. The controls are solid. It hooks into the community extremely well. . .there’s a heck of a lot of bang here for your buck.

  Pick up a copy of Stealth Bastard today. Its name will have you scratching your head, but once you get past that you’ll love it. 

Paul Harrison

Paul M Harrison is an entertainment journalist, novelist, and blogger, and a specialist in the theory of storytelling. Paul Harrison can be contacted via his personal website or on Twitter or Facebook.

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