Dino Galaxy Tennis is a fun and quirky intergalactic sports adventure that’s surprisingly challenging for either one or two players.
Developed by Polish studio Vixa Games, Dino Galaxy Tennis was first devised during the Global Game Jam in 2019, where a prototype version of the basic concept (itself motivated by the simple question of “what home means to you”) received heavy praise. Since then, Vixa has fleshed out its idea of cartoon dinosaurs knocking comets into planets into a fun title that was released on Steam and Nintendo Switch.
Dino Galaxy Tennis’s Story mode, which can be played in single-player or with a friend via couch co-op, tells the tale of Eddy and Dexter, two young dinosaurs out to win the Galactic Tennis Challenge. They’re trying to do so with the help of their grandpa Yatzusi, a former champion who is now content with coaching a new generation and napping in a rocking chair. To become champions, they will have to journey across the galaxy to five different worlds and collect badges in classic Pokémon fashion. Throughout their adventure, they will meet new characters like the twins Karl and Arwin or the sneaky Team Racket, who wish to take the badges for themselves by any means necessary.
Players will fly to new planets in their trusty spaceship, using the control stick to navigate a map and land on a world to compete in its five challenges. Matches play out with two opponents on small planet-like areas, with the objective being to knock the ball (which in this instance is a flaming comet) into an opponent’s goal. At certain points, Yatzusi will give the boys a brief training challenge, like knocking back falling comets or running in an obstacle course. Overall, most worlds consist of a match against the twins, two training levels, a showdown with the world’s champion, and a bout with Team Racket.
Players control their character by running and dashing across their planetoid, jumping and hovering with their jetpack, and knocking the ball back with a variety of different attacks. These consist of regular serves, spin attacks that curve the ball, and special attacks that can be unleashed once a section of the player’s energy gauge is filled by performing regular hits. As the game progresses, special obstacles are added to the field, like comet-eating robots that reflect the ball at opponents or worms that pop out of the ground and spit out extra comets. There are also collectible Power-Ups that can be used to create a fake comet to mislead opponents or gravity fields that can slow balls down. It isn’t uncommon for matches to turn into frenzied games of wit and reflex, especially in later stages where the difficulty ramps up considerably.
Aside from the campaign, there are Versus and Challenge modes that allow you to either play competitively against other people or replay the challenges of the main story with a variety of different characters – some of which can only be unlocked by beating the main quest. Multiplayer can be played either locally or online through Steam’s Remote Play, and players can post their high scores for Challenges to an in-game leaderboard.
Dino Galaxy Tennis’s dialogue is conveyed through text and contains plenty of humor and games and TV show references. Environments for the mini-planets vary between Earth-like cities, desert wastelands, and swampy wilderness, and characters are shown as cute mascot-style sprites. Likewise, the game’s music is a collection of jaunty, retro-style techno tunes that fit well with the space theme.
Dino Galaxy Tennis is a cute, colorful title with plenty of charm and a surprising level of challenge at later stages. The controls are solid for the most part, the lighting-fast gameplay is addicting, and the novel concept makes it a fun way to burn through hours. This game is for far more than tennis fans, and players interested in quirky innovation and plenty of charm should give Dino Galaxy Tennis a shot.
Dino Galaxy Tennis is now available on Steam and Nintendo Switch. Screen Rant was provided a Steam download code for the purpose of this review.
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