Game Colt Studio's 3D Badminton turned our phone into a hand-warmer; at least that's what it felt like after playing several rounds of this addictive Android game (charger attached). The game is easy but the play is challenging, even in the Easy level, and 3D Badminton goes from Easy to Normal to Hard to Nightmare, which is like an Olympic tryout. It's free but ad supported and a bit intrusive, at that. But there's a reason so many people have downloaded 3D Badminton: it's fun.
With basic but crisply rendered 3D graphics, 3D Badminton is an upgrade from the usual arcade-style Android game. The venue is a small gym with a green playing surface flanked by bleachers. A scoreboard hangs on the far wall. Your opponent is a basic block figure holding an oval on a stick in lieu of a proper badminton racquet; but don't be fooled: This guy can play. We tapped "Easy" and started a game. There's only one instruction, how to serve a drop spike. Everything else you'll pick up as you go: returning volleys, recovering from spikes, and (in our case) out-of-bounds plays. The view rotates smoothly , and the well-rendered shuttlecock flies realistically. The scoreboard background was distracting on some volleys.
If you don't know how to play badminton, it's easy to pick up by playing a few Easy rounds of 3D Badminton. After some practice, we still lost, but at least we weren't humiliated. But don't worry that 3D Badminton will run out of steam before you, judging by the Nightmare level. Backyard badminton has its advantages, like playing with one hand, freeing the other for a refreshing beverage (for balance). Unless you're very dexterous, you'll need both hands for 3D Badminton. But you can play 3D Badminton anywhere, anytime. Try that with regular badminton and you'll really make a racquet!