Racquet Sports

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Racquet Sports Game Poster Image
Sports game promotes healthy activity, friendly competition.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

This game promotes friendly competition in group environments. It also makes players get up off the couch and engage in a little physical exercise.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The characters on screen are simply mute avatars without personality. Kids are more likely to take cues from their fellow players -- how they react to winning and losing -- rather than those of the virtual athletes on screen, who do little more than swing racquets.

Ease of Play

There are two ways to play: Using a Wii remote as a makeshift racquet or employing the camera included in the premium edition to sense the movements of your arms when they’re swung like racquets. Both are simple and intuitive, but neither is particularly precise.

Violence & Scariness
Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Racquet Sports is a family friendly game that gets players off the couch and has them make like they’re playing a variety of racquet-based sports. It promotes friendly competition in group environments of up to four people. Younger players will learn about the rules for some sports they may not yet be familiar with, including squash and beach tennis. The game makes use of the Wii MotionPlus attachment; and the deluxe version comes with its own camera that can sense your arm movements without holding the Wii controller.

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What's it about?

The latest of many racquet-themed games for the Wii, RACQUET SPORTS lets players have a go at five different sports, including: tennis, ping-pong, beach tennis, squash, and badminton. Players can get their feet wet in the training mode, which leads them through the basics of each sport, or just dive into one of the main modes and consult instructions and sport rules on the fly as needed. The Quick Match mode lets up to four players pick a sport and a court and start playing. One or two players can take on a more ambitious challenge in Around the World mode, which will see players traveling the globe entering tournaments and challenges in each sport and unlocking plenty of characters, racquets, balls, and venues along the way. Party Mode takes players through a series of quick, 90-second challenges with various game altering effects, such as balls that slowly gain in speed and blazingly quick forehands. The deluxe version of the game, which costs $10 more, comes with a camera that will sense arm movements and translate them as racquet swings, eliminating the need for a Wii controller.

Is it any good?

Racquet Sports is definitely one of the better racquet-themed Wii games. The graphics are great. We loved the glass squash court on stilts above a lush jungle, and the view of New York from the window of a loft that played home to a ping pong table was fantastic. Each game has its own feel, whether it’s the rapid fire pace of badminton, the careful timing of squash, or the more measured and strategic shots of ping pong and tennis.

Our only issue is with the interface. Using the Wii remote is simple and intuitive, but imprecise -- even with the MotionPlus enhancement. There were plenty of times when even slight movements between shots would be picked up as swings, leaving us ill-prepared for the ball when it actually arrived. We adjusted by making smaller movements and keeping perfectly still between shots, but that took some of the fun and authenticity out of the game. Using the camera is just as simple, but it reduces the already limited variety of shots you can take. It’s fun to try, but not for serious play. Best save your money and stick with the version without the camera.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about becoming active while playing games. Do you feel better after playing games if you’ve spent the time standing and moving your arms around rather than sitting on a couch? Do you think that playing games this way makes you healthier?

  • Families can also discuss how realistic the sports in this game might be. What sort of liberties have the developers taken to make these sports more accessible in video game format? Has playing this game made you more interested in trying new racquet sports in real life?

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