Clumsy Ponglike tennis on the Mac | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Clumsy Ponglike tennis on the Mac

Batting a ball back and forth, losing almost every time, gets old fast.

Screen Tennis is like a time-warp back to Pong days. There are two controllers, which are big colored blocks on either side of the screen, and a round white blob in the middle that is the ball. The ball bounces back and forth and you control one paddle. The app installs easily and launches quickly, sitting over top of your desktop and wallpaper.

You have some very basic customization available with Screen Tennis. You can change the color of the two paddles and the ball, for example, and select whether the AI controls the left paddle (the user always controls the right paddle). Scores show up on the lower part of the screen as big numbers. And that, basically, is it. You control your paddle up and down, but in practice this seemingly simple action is difficult to do at higher speeds. Over a number of games we had real trouble scoring on the computer AI, and didn't win often.

We were disappointed with Screen Tennis. The graphics are clumsy, the customization was nothing interesting, and the AI won almost every time. It's free, so Screen Tennis is worth a quick play, but we doubt there will be any long-term players. A few changes to the app would make it a lot better, in our opinion.

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