The game follows standard tennis rules, and allows players to hit a variety of forehand and backhand shots to any location on the court. There are two skill levels included; a slower practice game, and the more challenging full speed game.
The game has two user-selectable speed levels. When serving and returning shots, the tennis players automatically swing forehand or backhand as the situation demands, and all shots automatically clear the net and land in bounds.
The first player to win one six-game set is declared the winner of the match (if the set ends in a 6-6 tie, the set restarts from 0-0). This differs from professional tennis, in which player must win at least two out of three six-game sets.
Tennis received an award for “Best Competitive Game” and an honorable mention for “Best Sports Game” at the 3rd annual Arkie Awards.
Arkie Award judges commented that “Tennis is as far removed from the primitive Pong-style games from which it derives as gasoline is from the dinosaurs“, and specific praise was given to the game’s “realistic illusion of depth” and its competitive aspects which allow for “hard fought contest[s]” and “glorious comebacks from the brink of defeat” and which give “more methodical players a chance to taste victory against the kings and queens of hand-eye coordination“.
Play Tennis for Atari 2600 online
You can play Tennis game for Atari 2600 online here, in a web browser, for free