"I say, I do love tennis."
"And I as well, nearly so much as I love ballooning."
"Yes, ballooning! Yes, yes."
"If there were but some way to combine the sports."
"Why, I wager that ballooning and tennis could be combined."
"A wager? Then I accept! To the balloons!"
There exist two balloons that are equipped with large paddles. They have the ability to go up, down, and side to side. The paddles may also be rotated: from 90 degrees, to 67.5 degrees, or to 45 degrees. These balloons have remarkable stabilizers and can hover perfectly when not moving, but when they are moving, they become subject to the prevailing winds and will find it easier to travel with the wind than against it. They will also find it easier to rise than to fall, as it takes longer for the air to cool than it does to heat.
There also exists a ball. It is bound by invisible walls in the sky and will bounce off of these walls should it strike them. The ball will also bounce off of either player's paddle. When the ball bounces, it will fly off at an angle according to the angle at which it hit the wall or paddle.
The game is divided into rounds. At the beginning of each round, a balloon will float onto the screen. Instead of a basket, from this balloon hangs a double-ended cannon. From this cannon, the ball will be rocketed in a random direction. The object of the game is for you to bounce the ball off your paddle when it is coming towards you, and to bounce it in such a way as to cause your opponent to miss the ball.
Both players have what is termed a "health meter". This measures, in units of hearts, the health of the player. When a player misses a ball, that player's health meter goes down by one heart. Whensoever a player should miss a ball without any hearts in that player's health meter, then the opposing player wins the game.
You can either play against a friend, or play against a highly sophisticated artificial intelligence.
This is player 1. Player 1 has a paddle that faces right and is restricted to the left half of the sky. In a single player game, you control player 1.
This is player 2. Player 2 has a paddle that faces left and is restricted to the right half of the sky. In a single player game, player 2 is controlled by your Nintendo Entertainment System.
At the start of each round, when the ball is still in the serve cannon, either player may press START to eject it. Which side it ejects from is chosen at random.
Press UP to rise.
Press DOWN to fall. You fall at half the speed you rise.
Press LEFT to move left.
Press RIGHT to move right. You move right at half the speed you move left.
Press A to rotate the paddle clockwise.
Press B to rotate the paddle counterclockwise.
At times during play, other balloons may appear in the sky. These may be carrying hearts or hypnodiscs. Should you touch these balloons as they fly by, you will acquire what it was carrying:
Touch this balloon and it will add a heart to your health meter.
Touch this balloon to hypnotize your opponent into believing the controls of that player's balloon are opposite from that which they, in fact, are.
By moving against the ball as it hits your paddle (i.e., for player 1 to be moving left as the ball approaches from the right, or vice versa for player 2), you will send the ball bouncing at a high speed.
When both players are in the center of the sky, it may be possible to push the ball through your opponent's balloon.
Balloons can rise faster than they can fall. Use this to your advantage, especially in single player mode.
If the game glitches out spectacularly and becomes unplayable, fix it by pressing the POWER button, pausing, and then pressing POWER again.
"I say, you've won, old bean!"
"Yes, well one of us had to, my boy, one of us had to."
"And what is to be my forfeit, then?"
"Why, what about another of those fine games by Mr. P?"
"A jolly good idea!"
'Round the World Tennis, © 2010 by Mr. P