Sports games are notoriously hard to nail down perfectly, for a number of reasons. The vast majority of us have never been lucky enough to climb up snowy mountains or trawl through radioactive lands, and so the latest AAA adventure game on consoles is extremely easy to become wholly immersed in. However, attempting to replicate a regular physically active pastime in what is a relatively sedentary medium is a whole new level of challenge. As a result, the fact Tennis Champs Returns (Free) is up there with the best racket sport simulators I’ve ever played, and on a mobile phone with touch controls no less, is mightily impressive. Uprising Games really did hit it out of the park (or smash it over the net?) when they released their retro tennis throwback title last year, and a brand new update that has dropped today adds even more content to an already sizeable release. Dubbed the Season 2 Update, this latest patch is all about customising your player on their way to the top, and includes some nice fixes to tighten up the gameplay even further.
In what is quite a nice touch at giving Tennis Champs Returns a tangible sense of ageing, Uprising Games let some of the previous top ranking players slowly fall from their perch, and have replaced them with some new big names such as Boris, Stefan and Pete (all of which, for fans of the sport, need no introduction). Brand new customisation options for your player are included too, and a new Touch-Tennis minigame has been thrown in as a way of unlocking additional clothes and colors for your athletes. As well as these relatively superficial changes, Uprising Games have tweaked numerous mechanical aspects in Tennis Champs Returns. The UI has been refreshed, and ball physics, shot balancing, AI and difficulty all improved. Some of these changes may seem relatively understated while listed in text form, but go some way to helping Tennis Champs Returns become the definitive racket sport experience on mobile, and I look forward to see what the developers do next. Download the Season 2 Update on the App Store today, and volley to our forum thread for more discussion on Tennis Champs Returns.