Super Badminton 2010 in Review – Not in my backyard

I am a bona fide backyard badminton player who just happens to graduate to university team play in both Canada and Japan. As for strings, I’ve done ’em all: second, third, and first but I prefer tightly stretched titanium. A cursory glance at the Super Badminton 2010 (SB010) menu reveals all the trappings of good tournament badminton. Unfortunately, it also misses most of the meat.

Firstly, SB010 isn’t licensed, so none of your favourites will slip in. Not that you need a pixel perfect Peter Gade to enjoy bandying about a  feathered shuttlecock, but for all the many teething fans out there, it would be fun. Sport fans, you’ll love the rankings and the queer absence of international badminton’s greatest countries.

Thank God SB010 is a straightforward game: smash, lob, and clear are the basic controls at your disposal. A digital cross or mock analogue pad’ll move your avatar around the screen and tilting your device will direct the shuttlecock. To be honest, the control scheme works pretty well – as long as you aren’t ready to win. Neither the stick nor the analogue pad are made for this game and neither the floor nor the crowd cam really make tournament badminton playable.

SB2010’s indication system is similar to most ball games. The shuttlecock is huge – you won’t miss it and here is a little shadow that creeps beneath it at all times. The problem isn’t that either one is faulty, it’s that both the shuttle and the shadow are sluggish. Or, maybe it’s just that the animation sucks. Sometimes the shuttle disappears overhead and often, your avatar will miss a perfectly reasonable birdie.

He or she will also struggle to get anywhere on the screen. Slow, choppy, and fumbly, SB2010’s avatars are embarrassing even to backyard badminton fans. Want to smash? Good luck timing that one. How about a nice moving lob? Not gonna happen. To hit the shuttle, you have to be at the right place at exactly the right time. There is very little leeway and absolutely no sporting coordination to connect nylon to feather.

If the above doesn’t dissuade you, read on. Badminton fans: you’ll laugh at the frying pan clears and the overextended, choppy missed smashes. It’s too bad too since drop shots, back pedaling and net play look realistic enough. The squeaky eeky of sneakers on the court, too, is … you know, squeaky. SB2010 does allow you to turn down the music volume and sound effects (thank God), but it might be nice if from the start, its designers were out to please rather than brutalise the ears.

There are options aplenty: different courts, old school scoring systems, and several game types, but trust me on this: option candy doesn’t make up for SB2010’s faults. I would have loved to recommend Super Badminton 2010, but, in good conscience, I cannot. From to controls to animation, SB2010 is fraught with negligent design. Its good points: good close-to-the-net animations and controls are overshadowed by everything else. Until the devs smooth out animations and add realistic reach to the players, I caution you to stay away.

App Summary
Title: Super Badminton 2010 Developer: Rohit Gupta
Reviewed Ver: 1.0.1 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $2.99 App Size: 22.3 MB
  • Badminton!
  • Good close to the net animation
  • Good game selection
  • Sounds
  • Controls
  • Houdini shuttlecock
  • Unrealistic play
  • No Indonesia?


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