More sporting games from Playtech, and this time it is Tennis Stars. As the theme would have suggested, I had expected to see a game on the likes of Football Legends, Football Stars or Top Trumps Celebs, but not for this game. You don't get to choose great players like Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe or Billie Jean King from the past era, or even new greats like the ssexyy Maria Sharapova, manly Selena Williams and whomever else your favourites. What you get instead is just a male and female tennis player. Whomever this two players are, no one knows! Tennis Stars should have been more appropriately named Tennis, or Tennis Rules (as in Football Rules), or even Championship Tennis, but it doesn't matter I guess...just play the game and hope to win! Hehehe.
This is not the usual 20, 25 or 30 paylines slot game - it has 40 paylines on 5 standard reels, with a free spins feature game as well as a championship bonus game. Symbols start with 9, 10, J, K, Q and A, with additional symbols of tennis balls, tennis shoes, paying x1000 line bet for 5-of-a-kind, and topping the list, a female tennis player and a male tennis player, paying x5000 line bet for 5-of-a-kind. It is important to take note here that there is no 5 wilds possibility in this game, as the wild symbols only appear on reels 2, 3 and 4. So don't look for that x10,000 line bet as you would in other games. The two tennis players, or stars, are the top paying symbols in this game. The scatter symbol is a pair of tennis racquets that pay only x100 total bet for 5-of-a-kind, which is on the low side. Hopefully this would also mean slightly easier in getting 5 of those scatters. I wouldn't know, as yet. 3 or more scatters anywhere on the reels would trigger off a Championship Bonus game, as opposed to the usual free spins award, whereby you get to play tennis against a computer opponent. The game starts by choosing to play a male or a female game, the choice not making any difference on the outcome of the bonus game. This is just a preference choice only. On play, you first choose either to use a flat serve or a slice serve against your opponent. Scoring is as per real tennis game, which is 15-0, 30-0, 40-0, game-0, and is paid out accordingly. For example, if you win with a score of game-30 (opponent's score), you win x10 total bet. Winning game-0 and you win x50 your total bet. Serving aces determine the win multiplier, from x1 for no ace serve, to x5 for 4 ace serves. The maximum possible win from this bonus game is the total bet x50, then x5. For example, $10 win x50 = $500 x5 = $2,500.
For free spins, you need to get the wild symbol, which is a trophy, anywhere on reels 2, 3 and 4, for a x10 total bet win, plus 15 free spins with a x3 win multiplier. A totally different concept from the usual Playtech games that may need some getting use to. Retriggering is infinitely possible, as always, but not practically possible. In actual play, I found it rather hard to get wins from Tennis Stars. The Championship Bonus game looks good, but getting a lot of serving aces wasn't that easy at all, resulting in average or low payouts most of the time. I have also never gotten the top x50 total bet with x5 win multiplier so far, and none of the tennis player's 5-of-a-kind either. After not very long periods of playing this game, interest quickly disappears as fast as the credits do too. Perhaps Tennis Stars could have been a better game had it been on 15 or 20 paylines, and having similar feature games as found in Football Stars. Or perhaps it was just not my game, who knows.