Tennis

Fancy a game of Snoopy Tennis?

For SUPERJUMP, Alexander Hughes wrote about Snoopy Tennis, a tennis game for the Game Boy with an interesting history:

The back pages of some classic video game manuals, there’s occasionally a credits list for key members of the teams that worked on the project. At the end of the Snoopy Tennis Game Boy Color booklet, Infogrames, the publisher, has a nice healthy list of contributors. But there’s also a lonely logo for “Mermaid Studios” with a blank space underneath where the developer names should have been.

Internet searches return similar missing information about the developer. MobyGames credits are greyed out. GameSpot info is empty. GiantBomb leaves the developer name out completely. WikiPedia is barely more than a stub. But Mario Tennis has a bunch of credits info. Ditto for Pokémon and Zelda from around the same period of time. For an indie title in the early days of video game history, this might not be strange, but here was a major publisher with a high-profile license, and also a “modern” game released years after the internet solidified a gaming community rich in data and story. Where was the info about Mermaid Studios? Who was this secret bunch that slipped past the gate and delivered a lob shot over the heads of the gaming industry?

Hughes then found one of the co-creators of the game and interviewed him about it as well as discussing the game’s characters. There was an interesting bit about Snoopy Tennis’s difficulty:

[…] Snoopy Tennis on hard mode is insanely difficult, rivaling the rage-quit inducing Turbo Tunnel in Battletoads, or Super Star Wars, or Mike Tyson’s Punch Out! in its requirement of supreme flawless concentration, timing and focus. A continuous play-through of the Championship rounds can take upwards of two straight hours. On SpeedRun“Peanutfan22” is the current lone record-holder for winning on easy and medium difficulty, but in twenty years no one yet has posted a winning session on hard mode. Martin is unaware of anyone other than Brian having won the championship straight through. It’s as close as mere mortals can get to experiencing what it must be like to go up against Federer or Sampras or a giant yellow bird at Wimbledon and get your keister handed to you for three straight sets.

This sounds like the most realistic tennis game ever made.

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