Rarely is the question asked “What would happen if Link played a fusion of tennis and air hockey?” The scarcity of the query is thankfully not enough to get in the way of an answer, and that’s found in fantasy NES-styled tennis-ish game Spiritsphere DX. The original game came out on PC about a year and a half ago, simply called Spiritsphere, but the Switch version launched today with enough new features to earn a fancy DX at the end of the title.
You choose a character, each with a different ability, and set off on a quest that involves smacking a magical orb back and forth until it clears the back of your opponent’s area. A regular hit can be aimed with the controller, while a more powerful charge shot can be temporarily steered to hopefully fly past your opponent’s defenses. There are also variations on the theme such as Squash, where both players can roam the full court while alternating between attack and defense, or a co-op mode where what’s normally the equivalent of the net has been expanded with critters wandering around inside and you need to work together to hit them all and collect the goodies.
The whole game is playable single-player but its heart is in multiplayer, with all modes available to go head-to-head with your friends. That’s actually literal in one configuration, with the Switch being held sideways, joycons attached, each player on their side trying to resist the temptation to wobble the screen while the ball flies to their soon-to-be-former friend. It’s a rare game where the dangers the characters face are less than those of the real-world players, but Spiritsphere DX is happy to flip the hazard ratio around. Check out the launch trailer below to see it in action.