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Table Tennis Touch Review: Brilliantly executed sports game

New game Table Tennis Touch is endless fun and wildly addictive

Table tennis is an odd sport. Despite being a camp stalwart, the game doesn’t have much of a presence beyond that Forrest Gump movie and a debased version of the game that involves a certain hoppy beverage – but it’s a sport that’s ingrained into our collective psyche.

But when it comes to an app version the image is conjured up of all those bowling games that came up when the App Store was released and provided two minutes of fun before being forgotten about. What possible fun could the repetitive *thwack* and the back and forth possibly bring when the entire thing is being performed by your index finger?

The game starts with some basic tutorials.

The game starts with some basic tutorials.

Apparently, the answer, is a ridiculous, ridiculous amount. Yakuto, the developers, have constructed a game that is incredibly well balanced. The cornerstone is the career mode, which allows you to build up ‘reputation’ points by playing the tournaments that you’re challenged too, and by training with the game’s ‘mascot’, Giff Giff. This tin robot spits ping pong balls across the table at you in a number of mini-training games, which take on the guise of other games, such as knocking down ten-pins.

Few IAPs!

It all starts off as a lot of fun. There are easy and advanced ways to serve, and depending on force, or accuracy, your shots can just make it over the net, or power into the next court. It’s incredibly flexible, but, extremely tough. Right from the off, you’re battling Norway’s finest batsman, or China’s most prolific ping-pongist, and you get ruthlessly destroyed. But if you hold on, and keep up the mini-games, you find that you actually progress at just the right pace so that you don’t get bored, games remain a challenge, but you don’t always get destroyed. Not only do you get better through time and skill, you also get to unlock different bats which can improve spin, or pacing. The best thing about these – none of them require in-app purchases. In fact, their are only a couple of minor IAPs, such as an extra boost function, which is in no way an essential tool.

An in-game shot! (they're hard to catch) we're pretty sure this shot powered deep in to the corner.

An in-game shot! (they’re hard to catch) we’re pretty sure this shot powered deep in to the corner.

Onto the graphics. They’re beautifully rendered, with table tennis tables set up across various locations to keep things fresh, from gymnasiums to local town halls. The bats themselves are represented as disembodied, which looks a bit odd, but the pace would no doubt slow with proper characters in place.

Speaking of pace, the game is incredibly fast, in both its functionality and the gameplay itself. You find yourself tensing up as you embark on an extensive rally, with barely the time to blink. It’s certainly exciting, and the satisfaction from winning a tournament against the same player that had destroyed you the previous day is immense.

Table Tennis Touch – Trailer from Yakuto.

Aside from the career mode, which is split in to three stages: ‘club’, ‘national’, and ‘international, there is an arcade game, and a quick game option if you’d just like to polish up without worrying about your career. But really, the career mode is where it’s at when it comes to Touch Table Tennis. We’ve been playing this game solid for over a week and we’re yet to get much further than half way through the national level. It’s a tough game, and take a lot of time, but that only adds to the game’s value.

Sports games can be so easy to get wrong. Either too fiddly, and complicated, or glitchy and cumbersome. Touch Table Tennis is neither, and has taken an incredibly simple sport, and built a whole world around it to create one of the most enjoyable, varied, and speedy sports games we’ve ever seen.

Price: £2.49

Size: 252 MB

Version: 1.0.424

Platform: iOS Universal

Developer: Yakuto ltd

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