Table Tennis Touch (iOS) Review

Its bizarre that there aren’t more Table Tennis games on the market in general. After all its pong on steroids. Table Tennis Touch is pretty much the best and only offering available on any system right now. This game features superb aesthetics and graphics, a solid framework of game mechanics, competent AI at all levels, brilliant mini games in an appropriate length career mode. And I hear multiplayer is coming early 2015. That’s not bad for a measly $4.

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The first thing that jumped out at me were the graphics, this game is gorgeous and everything is beautifully rendered with a glossy realistic look. The arenas while they look great, I did wish some of them were more appropriate. One of them looked like a dance studio, complete with mirrors, while another was an old gym building. Not really the place to be holding an international caliber tournament? I’m being pedantic.

To hit the ball, you flick your finger in the direction where you want the ball to go and the faster you flick the faster the ball will go. At first as always with any touch based game, your fingers and hand obstruct the screen which makes it difficult if the ball is travelling really fast. By the end you know the trajectory and its speed like the back of your hand so its not such a big deal anymore, but hand obstruction is always a pet peeve of mine. As I’ve always said action games that make you swipe all over the screen make it annoying to follow whats going on. There are a few other control methods in the options, but none of them work as well as the default. Regardless this was always going to be a necessary evil to play table tennis on a touch screen.

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Secondly flicking works great ‘most’ of the time. I can flick super fast with my right index finger in every way except from bottom right to top left of the screen. Flicking in that manner is counterintuitive for me so there are times where I give myself a little more room and literally play a ‘forehand’ with my finger.

Aside from that, the game handles pretty well, and the rallies can get pacy. Its fun to battle against the computer and there can be some wild rallies. Its pretty satisfying to play out a 50+ hit rally and then slam a winner past the AI. Enough joy to just about break out a Lleyton Hewitt fist pump (sorry I don’t know any famous Table Tennis players.)

I’d like to see more personality in the AI between various players though, because aside from the name change, they all play pretty much the same. I’d imagine they are minus some minor variables. Surely some players should be defensive players and some attacking? I also felt like there were times the AI would just jank a completely easy shot, for no particular reason other than the point had already gone on too long.

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The absolute best thing and why this app is worth the $4 is the mini games within the career mode. They are just… best in class second to none. Some mini games have the player knocking down pins or serve balls into little huts that move on the table. There’s another mini game where there’s a very small area available to land the ball and requires a very long amount of time to win the mini game. The reason its so good is because of the challenge and how finely tuned these levels are. The later stages at first doesn’t seem possible to get the gold medal, but slowly but surely your score your skill grows enough to take out the medal.

The career mode offers a variety of tournament play as well, including knockout, league, and also league/knockout (where the first round is a league followed by knockout stages) and some head to heads. These ended up feeling a bit samey to me as the AI wasn’t different enough to differentiate itself. I think that’s important if one has to repeatedly play matches.

Overall, its a tremendous little game from Yakuto Games and I think multiplayer is going to take this game up another level.

Score: 7 finger flicks out of 10

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