Serve And Volley
Copyright/Publisher: Accolade/Electronic Arts, Programmed by: Lise Mendoza, Sound by:
Paul Butler, Designed by: Rick Banks & Paul Butler, Graphics: Grant Campbell,
Produced by: Jay Stevens, Release Year: 1988, Genre: Tennis, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

Right. Here you are, about to enter a tennis tournament. You've got your trendy shorts, your Adidas shirt, your Puma trainers and a designer racket; what else do you need? Ah yes. That's it. You need to learn how to play tennis.

The game starts by selecting a match type and length, as welll as choosing which player you wish to control. Play can take place in one of three locations: Centre court, Seaside or Country Club, eac with their own backgrounds.

The action is controlled via a tactics box (see below) and continues up until the selected limit (one set, best of three or best of five), with the winner being nominated cup-holder on the title screen.

SHOT TIMING BAR - hit as close to centre line as possible.

SHOT DIFFICULTY LEVEL - also shows shot error.

FATIGUE LEVEL - affects shot power.

SHOT SELECT BAR - Press fire when the grey bar passes the type of shot you wish to use.

AIM WINDOW - Plots where you will aim or run to. Also shows a 'strobe' effect display of the shot.

Gordon Houghton
When I first looked at this, I though it was all a bit dull - the action is very slow. But once you've accepted that face, and you get used to the complex control and play methods, you've got a lasting and fairly enjoyable sports simulation which offers you much more depth than any previous tennis game.

It's a lot like Matchday 2 in that it moves like a crippled sloth, but the extra features just about make up for it. The graphics and sound are nothing to shout about, but the presentation is very much up to the high Accolade standards; if you're a tennis fan, check it out, especially if you've got a friend (aaaah!)

M.E.
I always considered Accolade a force to be reckoned with when it came to sports simulations, what with classics like Hardball and 4th & Inches to their credit; but now that we have Serve And Volley, I'm not sure.

The idea of a more tactical approach is fair enough, but when it plays as slowly as this the idea falls a bit flat. Sometimes the opponent's serving is like never! Also (he shouts, adding to the moans) it seems to play a bit unfairly. Just when you think you've got used the sluggish timing bars and player movement, the bar rockets down past the line and causes you to miss the shot.

This kind of thing I can do without! On the other hand, if you're a dedicated sports-sim fan and need to have a tactical tennis game your collection then you may overcome these difficulties. All the time I played it, however, they just stayed scremingly obvious.


INTRO SCREEN

PRESENTATION 71%
A lot of options, but the tactical play boxes can be overly confusing.
GRAPHICS 69%
Slightly blocky sprites and poor animation, barely good enough to partray the action.
SOUND 48%
Poor tunes and a few bland effects.
HOOKABILITY 63%
Initially very confusing due to all the things you've got to take into account before actually playing a shot.
LASTABILITY 73%
When you get used to it, you may grow to enjoy it. The two player option could extend its playability, too.
OVERALL 71%
An unusual tennis sinulation that doesn't quite hit the mark. Not one of Accolade's best.


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