Back in 1995 a tiny Amiga game by the name of Tennis Champs was released for free as part of a pack-in disk with the August ’95 issue of Amiga Power magazine. This colorful and arcadey game of tennis was well-received by players, which prompted the developers to release a full-fledged follow-up titled Super Tennis Champs. I mean, obviously, right? That’s what games did in the ’90s, they went from Game Name to Super Game Name. Super Tennis Champs was also well-received by players and critics alike, and went on to become something of a cult classic. Fast-forward a couple of decades and the original programmer of Super Tennis Champs, Elton Bird of Uprising Games, is releasing a modern remake for iOS devices appropriately titled Tennis Champs: Returns. Check out the trailer.
One of the really neat features in Tennis Champs: Returns is its use of actual 3D tennis courts that contrast with the 2D character sprites which look very similar to those from the original game. It gives me that “this is retro but it’s totally not" feeling that games like Horizon Chase (Free) do, which is a very good thing. Tennis Champs: Returns will also feature improved animations and entirely new ball physics, along with new controls that allow for all the top spins, slices, lobs and drop shots you can shake a racquet at. Finally, Tennis Champs: Returns will be built around a lengthy single-player Career Mode which will feature a field of 200 Tennis Pros with a full calendar of tour events, training mini-games, and daily challenges. In this video you can check out a very in-depth look at that Career Mode.
If you want to compare this remake with the original 1995 version, here’s some gameplay video of Super Tennis Champs on the Amiga. I think as far as remaking games from that era goes, Tennis Champs: Returns looks like it’s on the right track. Uprising Games is no stranger to iOS releases either, and are responsible for the fantastic throwback soccer game Super Soccer Champs ’14 ($1.99) and the highly underrated Tappy Lap (Free). There have been many tennis games on iOS over the years, but I’ve never quite found one that’s really stuck for me. I’m hoping this one will be it.
Tennis Champs: Returns is already in submission with Apple so expect it to hit in the next couple of weeks, and in the meantime be sure to check out the discussion on this one in the forums.