Smoots World Cup Tennis review for Xbox One, PC

Platform: Xbox One
Also On: PC
Publisher: Kaneda Games
Developer: Kaneda Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-4
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

At first glance, Smoots World Cup Tennis seems to have a lot going for it. Bright, colourful graphics; a surprisingly deep career mode; lots of customization features; some fun mini-games.

Note that nowhere on that list is “solid tennis gameplay.”

Considering Smoots World Cup Tennis is a, you know, tennis game, that?s something of a problem. But there?s really no way to sugarcoat the fact that the tennis here is subpar, at best. Every single point, game, set, and match boils down to the same thing: you stand on the yellow spot, you hold the shot button, and you hit it back over the net, then your player waddles slowly over to wherever the yellow spot has moved. The game pretends to offer you some variety in terms of shots with slices and lobs and whatnot, but they?re unreliable at best. You could mix it up just to challenge yourself, I guess, but I don?t see why you would. Ultimately, every point boils down to a war of attrition, where you just rally back and forth for ages until either your stamina wears out or you mistime one of your shots.

Which is kind of a shame, since, as I said, all the off-court stuff shines. The visuals are crisp and clean, and nail the playful vibe the game seems to going for. You get to control virtually every aspect of your player?s appearance, with tournament wins leading to more money to buy more virtual goods. There are plenty of ways to improve your player, too, via both between-tournament exhibition matches and silly mini-games involving zombies and explosives.

The only problem is, it?s hard to know why you?d want to do any of that, since it all ultimately leads to playing more tennis, which, again, is kind of dull. It?s unfortunate that such a nice package is wasted on such a forgettable game, but that?s the kind of situation that awaits anyone who chooses to play Smoots World Cup Tennis.

Kaneda Games provided us with a Smoots World Cup Tennis Xbox One code for review purposes.

Grade: C