Virtual reality (VR) sports titles can be highly immersive experiences, getting players really immersed in whatever actions the particular sport requires. If you’re a fan of tennis then indie developer SlinDev has a simple little title to try your hand at, Blobby Tennis, which has arrived for HTC Vive (reviewed) and Oculus Rift.
Putting you on a sun-soaked beach, Blobby Tennis is just as the title describes, a tennis simulator that partners you against a big red blob. The title actually mixes up tennis with the look and feel of beach volley ball, with a large marked area, an oversized net and masses of sand – which isn’t exactly known for its ball bouncing properties.
As stated in the first paragraph, Blobby Tennis is simple. In fact it’s so uncomplex that it errs on the side of barren. With tennis ball in one hand and racket in the other you can start serving away to your red gelatinous opponent straight away, there’s no intro screens or anything. Get your shot near the blob and it’ll return it so you can start having a rally, but don’t let the ball drop, if it hits the sand then it’s time to start all over again.
While you may want to go at it hell for leather, playing a tennis videogame in VR does have its limitations – namely the amount of space you have to play in. Be to keen and start almost diving for shots and you’ll be hitting real-world walls/ceiling lights, furniture in no time. The actual physics of Blobby Tennis are very good, hitting the ball feels to your opponent feels solid, or just bouncing the ball on the racket showcases the attention to detail.
But this doesn’t help in the fact that apart from having a rally, bouncing the ball on the racket, or just randomly trying to hit things – there’s an achievement for hitting the radio – there’s just not a lot to keep you playing for any length of time. There’s no score board, no multiplayer or even a different location, just you the blob and a racket. The only real thing to keep you playing are the achievements which extend to bouncing the ball on the racket and the length of the rallies.
There is one massive upshot to the lack of content, and that’s the fact Blobby Tennis is free. And it needs to be or players wouldn’t be too happy if they paid for this. So is Blobby Tennis bad, actually no it isn’t. It’s not glitchy, everything looks and plays well, it just feels like an early access title that’s good for first-timers to VR. If the developer can expand the experience adding further replayability and more features then it’ll be more the better for it.