Tennis (Game Boy) Review

By Mike Mason 02.07.2011 7

Review for Tennis on Game Boy

With Wimbledon 2011 reaching its apex, Cubed3 looks at Nintendo’s cunningly timed Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console release of Game Boy Tennis. Does it hold up in today’s market place, though?

Game Boy Tennis is a basic take on the sport that dominates televisions during British summer time. There are no fancy extras: no RPG mode alá Mario Power Tennis, no Virtua Tennis-style mini-games. All that is contained is a digital representation of the racquet sport, the players fighting for supremacy in best of three set matches over four difficulty levels.

Players rally across the court, with the A and B buttons allowing for a mix of shot types to best your opponent. Mario acts as umpire in a typical Nintendo touch, calling you 'out' at every possible opportunity - a common occurrence, as Tennis is not an easy game, set and match until you have learnt how it operates.

Screenshot for Tennis on Game Boy

In fact, some may find Tennis too slow and harsh in this age of relatively relaxed timing windows propagated in part by Wii Sports. Characters run quite slowly, movement is halted dead when the racquet is swung and, unless you get your shot targeting just right, you’ll find yourself feeling the same way Andy Murray does most of the times he plays against Nadal. Push past the initial difficulty, however, and Tennis reveals itself to still be a mildly addictive affair. Match yourself to the game’s pace, master shot direction and accept that the CPU is a cheating little cretin that will occasionally play a near-impossible shot, and there’s some fun to be had here.

Unfortunately, though, the 3DS Virtual Console release of Tennis feels like half a game in some respects, as the multiplayer option has been removed; originally enabled by the Game Boy Link Cable, Nintendo have not updated this to use 3DS’ wireless functionality instead, which would have added far more value to this download. What you’re left with is the chance to do racquet-battle with a single CPU player over four difficulty levels; nothing more, nothing less.

Screenshot for Tennis on Game Boy

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 5 out of 10


There was nothing else like Tennis about on Game Boy at the time of its launch, but it finds itself in a tight spot re-released on 3DS' Virtual Console. Nowadays the market is different, rife with a huge number of low-priced iPhone and Android games to distract, tennis-based or otherwise. There is still a certain quality to Tennis, but the £2.70 cost is a tough sell for such a basic title in today’s world of widespread digital distribution.


Intelligent Systems







C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


I must say, I find the prices a bit hard to swallow. You can get good, full colour and good quality games on iPhone for 59p each and Nintendo are asking a lot more, for games that are decades old and in four shades of grey. They already made plenty of money out of these games the first time 'round. They could easily flog them for 50p or so.

I've bought a few of these games because it's a new and exciting console, but I'll soon tire of forking out 3.60 of whatever for these things a year down the line.

I had hoped that they would have Gameboy Advance games in the e-shop. They seem better suited to Nintendo's e-shop than original Gameboy games. They're in a widescreen format too which is better suited to the 3DS screen.

GBA games should definitely be up there, considering you can't really play the games anymore on the latest DS and 3DS models. And you're totally right when you compare these games to iPhone game prices. I can accept maybe paying £3-£5 for perhaps a Zelda game, but certainly a game like Tennis would do much better at 50p or whatever. I also think they'd make more money selling them at this price too. No one's gonna spend pounds on a game like this. Pennies, however...

In favour of the above comments, i understand the need for original Gameboy classics, it also seems Nintendo understands that the value to such classics differ, though i believe back in the day Links Awakening cost the same as Tennis, they're obviously competing with current digital download trends, so where are our 99p games?
Im happy to pay even a tenner for Links Awakening, (i paid £25 the 1st time round) i know the quality is there, but the iphone generation would hesitate.
Nintendo have a huge GB back catalogue to take advantage of, now is the time to prove portable mini gaming of yesteryear is still relevent today for a quick gaming fix, monochrome or not, there are some great games sitting in cyberspace, why not have everybody possible experience them, as your mission statement implies?
If Tetris is released at more than 99p after it helped sell over 120 million GBs worldwide, i will go Donkey Kong ape shit.
Oh, to who it may concern, if your reading this i would like to see these GB games also released on 3DS virtual console.
Faceball 2000
Super RC Pro Am from RARE
QIX (99p please)
Batman the Movie
Dr. Frankn
Motocross Maniacs (99p)
LOZ Oracles, Seasons and Ages.
There are more but the names have left me. Im 32!!

I remember this game! Wouldn't pay more than a £1 for it though.

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

Well, to my amazement, QIX made the eshop release this week, a proper gem, though im not sure i wanna find out the costage...

Wow, really? Qix was one of the first GB games I got. Used to love it.

Yeah, its there. An excellent GB launch title.

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