There is a kickstarter called sportsfriends that is nearing its final days right now, and it looks like it is going to be a tight one. I am writing this in the hope that it will help explain why I think these games are really enjoyable, and hopefully get other people the opportunity to play them. The game I want to talk about is TENNNES.
Plenty of things have been said about J.S. Joust, and it is one of the games that I have spent the most time playing from this pack. Doug has been touring with it like mad for the past few years, and I have played it with him and others, late into the night. It is a singular experience, and I hope that everyone gets to play it at some point. Enough has been said about this game in other, smarter venues though, so I encourge you to follow some of the links off the kickstarter page.
Hokra, Barabariball, and Pole riders I have spent a bit of time with. I don’t know them all that well though, as I havn’t had the opportunity to really dive in deep. I am super pumped to kick back with a controller and the guys at luckyframe and dig into all of them when they come out. Also, due to the fact that they are core sportsfriends games, there is plenty of information already available about them. I don’t think I need to
Where does that leave us? TENNNES. It is not one of the core sportsfriends games, but it is going to be availble for pc with the pack, and I really think that it is amazing. After hearing the Idle Thumbs podcast talk about it, I asked JW for a copy of it. Much of what I have written is repeated in that episode.
TENNNES has been running on a computer at the office non-stop since I got it. Every moment of downtime has been TENNNES. TENNNES is just tennis, more or less, but filtered through the simplicity of pong, i.e. you could play it with a beer in one hand (with the correct joystick). It is incredibly deep though. Watching a match as an uninitiated player looks pretty much the same as pong, but as someone that has played it, you can see crazy risky shots and amazing saves and incredible points. It is a strange combination of approachable in its controls, but crazily deep in the outcome. We are still finding optimal stragies and new gambits for serves weeks into playing. And we are only playing two out of the three possible courts in the game.
TENNNES also creates this amazing competitive space, where you end of vibrating with energy after a close match. I have left several matches sweating and swearing. This seldom happens to me when playing an online multiplayer game. Something about having your competition in the same room with you really helps the game itself.
I hope this encourages some more people to pledge to the kickstarter.