Android games have started moving to the next level thanks to Chromecast, as we’ve seen in the first wave of group video games to play in front of the TV. Motion Tennis takes it a step futher with an experience very similar to the earliest games for Wii thanks to the integrated accelerometer on your smartphone and the immediate-response system in the Google player.
The hardware you need is very accessible: a smartphone with Android 4.2, a Chromecast, and a TV with an HDMI connector to connect it. The app can be downloaded for free as it’s free-to-play and based on getting points (or ‘tickets’, according to the app) in the form of lives that will recharge after a certain amount of time. There are several game modes at different difficulty levels to compete with the AI in various competitions, although you can also search for other players online from all over the world to test your skills.
As a tennis simulator it leaves a lot to be desired, but just as in those games from Nintendo, the nucleus of the experience is based on physical interactions to virtually return the ball. In fact, when you start the game you’ll need to calibrate your device to detect its position and height relative to the screen. This means when you do a move it will be able to tell between a forehand, backhand, or lob. The game itself will make your character run around, meaning you just have to worry about hitting the ball at just the right moment.
That said, for obvious reasons you need to be careful flinging around your smartphone, as the likelihood of it flying out of your hand is pretty high. In fact, the app will soon add compatibility with smartwatches, which will be much more secure as it’s physically strapped to the wrist. Be that as it may, it’s clear that Motion Tennis is a great example of how much mobile gaming is changing and evolving by extending its interaction with other devices.