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Game info
PC

Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow
GenreTennis
DeveloperMana Games
PublisherGOTO Software
Released1997
Rating
Graphics:8.0
Sound:7.5
Gameplay:7.0
Overall:8.0
Reviewed byndial
Tennis Elbow is an arcade-style tennis simulation which allows you to compete in a World Tour consisting of 90 events against 250 players. Both single matches, and doubles allows you to play against CPU-controlled players in a semi-3D environment on grass, clay, and cement courts. The game's graphics look great utilizing the CPU and graphics power back then of the PC-based hardware, but the players have a very limited range of motion which leads to frustrating points, thus gameplay seems a bit lacking.
 
Review
Tennis ElbowSTORY / GAMEPLAY
You have your home test track at Florano in Italy where you can fine tune the engine and test the aerodynamics of your car to your heart's content (e.g. adjust your car's wings and test how it will handle at various speeds or even adjust your gearbox depending on how many corners the track has). It also gives you the chance to perfect your driving skills although on a general level only, as you will need to practice on each individual course as well. But you must be able to set your car up correctly for each different track in a limited time!
There are three skill levels or you to from. At the hardest (formula one) level, your opponents drive with a greater degree of skill, you are more likely to suffer from mechanical failures and you will also have to change gears manually. Steering your car is controlled via the mouse (!) which might upset some people who would have preferred to use a joystick or a gamepad or even the keyboard. The right-hand button is acceleration while the left is for braking, while changing gears is controlled via the keyboard.
Controls are rather tricky, meaning that gameplay differs from most racing car sims back then regarding the viewpoint adopted for the race. Using the mouse, wherever you steer, you can look around to the left and right and judge approaching corners from a variety of angles rather than from the standard fixed position of the straight ahead. This makes is a little tricky, as in a hard corner while steering to full, the car is in the corner of the screen!
During a race you can of course stop at the pits, requesting to change tires, alter any system settings which are not achieving optimum performance etc. But be careful, as all these tasks take up precious lap-time.
Overall, Ferrari Formula One was a departure from the standard and used the simulation element together with strategic thought to create a game of incredible complexity and truly nice realism.

GRAPHICS / SOUND
The graphics are fine supporting only on EGA or CGA back then), but by no means perfect. Attention to track details are ok, but the car's instrument panel is small and lacks an accurate counter, which is a pity. Scrolling is fine, though it does have a few glitches since the game is written in C rather than Assembly language.
On the other hand, sound is perhaps the game's biggest disappointment at least on the PC (DOS) version. Ok, the game was written and released in 1988, and sound hardware was still a missing candy for this type of platforms, so you only get a few basic sound effects via your PC-speaker.
 
Screenshots
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Tennis Elbow
 
Gameplay sample
 
Hardware information

PC (ms-dos based)

PC (ms-dos based)CPU: Various processors from Intel,AMD, Cyrix, varying from 4.77Mhz (Intel 8088) to 200Mhz (Pentium MMX) and up to 1995 (available on this site)
MEMORY: 640Kb to 32MB RAM (typical up to 1996)
GRAPHICS: VGA standard palette has 256 colors and supports: 640x480 (16 colors or monochrome), 640x350 in 16 colors (EGA compatability mode), 320x200 (16 or 256 colors). Later models (SVGA) featured 18bit color palette (262,144-color) or 24bit (16Milion colors), various graphics chips supporting hardware acceleration mainly for 3D-based graphics routines.
SOUND: 8 to 16 bit sound cards: Ad-Lib featuring Yamaha YMF262 supporting FM synthesis and (OPL3) and 12-bit digital PCM stereo, Sound Blaster and compatibles supporting Dynamic Wavetable Synthesis, 16-bit CD-quality digital audio sampling, internal memory up to 4MB audio channels varying from 8 to 64! etc. Other notable sound hardware is the release of Gravis Ultrasound with outstanding features!
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The PC (ms-dos based) (default) color palette
CGA: 16-color palette (4 on-screen)
EGA: 64-color palette (16 on-screen)
VGA: 256-color palette (256 on-screen)
 
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