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Have You Played... Top Spin?

Pong: Sweat Edition

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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

I had never seen a sweatier man.

Deep into the battle that would decide his fate and the way his story lived on or dwindled to nothing, my custom-built character was part-way between solid and fluid. A jelly of a man; a moist pink marshmallow on wobbly legs. He was coated in the shine of himself. A hero. A superhero. The Laminated Man.

Top Spin is a tennis game.

That battle was a five set grandslam final against S├ębastien Grosjean. I’ve spent a good while trying to figure out if the sweat that so caught my eye was actually up to snuff in Top Spin the first, or if it had only been perfected by the time of Top Spin 3, the sweatiest game of all time.

Whatever the case, Top Spin was a wonderful game. Tennis games are rare on any format, PC included, which is odd considering that the sport was invented as a computer game by Mr Allan Pong in 1972. The port to clay, grass and hard surfaces came much later.

Shot selection and placement give the one-on-one (or two vs two) competitions a tactical edge, and even when the pace is blistering, it’s the cool head that usually triumphs. That’s my kind of sport. A sweaty strategy game.

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Adam Smith

former Deputy Editor

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