North American box cover.
|ESRB PEGI CERO ACB|
Mario Tennis is a game for the Game Boy Color that was released alongside the perhaps more popularly known Mario Tennis on the Nintendo 64. The game's relatively simple two-button control scheme (that nevertheless allowed for a wide variety of tennis techniques) translated well to the Game Boy Color. The Game Boy Color's single-player campaign consisted of a fully-fledged role-playing game, in which the player (and, in doubles play, their AI partner) had to level up in various tennis skills, as opposed to the simple tournament play of the home console game.
The single player game took place in a tennis academy, with the male or female player character training up and competing to win various tournaments, culminating in the grand tournament. Once victorious, the player was abruptly transported to the Mushroom Kingdom, with Mario appearing as the final opponent in the game (or in doubles, Mario and Princess Peach). Unlike in the majority of Mario sports titles, Mario was an unlockable character.
Most of the Nintendo characters from the Nintendo 64 version were present, although some had to be unlocked in the game or by linking up to the N64 title. Using the Transfer Pak it was also possible to import the player's own carefully nurtured character from the RPG into the N64 game. Each Mario-universe character had their own unique tennis-themed minigame, available from the game's main menu.
Finally, multiplayer was possible through use a of a link-up cable, or by transferring characters to the N64.