Today Atari®, with developer Chequered Ink, announced the Windows PC launch of PONG Quest™, a new RPG adventure game inspired by the flagship arcade classic. We’ve looked at the promotional materials, and we’ve watched the trailer, and we’re honestly scratching our heads over this one.
In 1975 Atari took the world by storm with its home console arcade game Pong. It was about as basic as a computer game gets, comprised of two players (or one player and an AI) swatting a square pixel back and forth. Whoever missed a hit would concede a point to the other player until the game was won. It was in black and white, had no music, and would work on any television no matter its condition, as long as it could display something.
Now the legendary Pong – the game that was so simple that replicating the game on any hobbyist computer was something children have been doing for more than 40 years – is reborn as this adventure game thing. You play as a paddle, which goes through various scenes and settings conquering level bosses and fulfilling quests on your way to revealing the mysteries of … the Spooky Door!
No, I’m serious. They’re serious. You dress up a rectangle in costumes and accessories and it goes adventuring.
The gameplay all seems to revolve around whacking a little square pixel around, trying to hit things and affect the play environment, with elements from classic Atari games filling in the gaps and adding variety.
We’re all for nostalgia. Heck, we have a whole radio station that depends on nostalgia rather heavily, and you’re probably listening to it right now. The further back in history you go for your reboots, though, the more plain and unadorned the original concepts become. Once you pass a certain threshold, a reboot becomes a terrible idea (anybody remember the excitement and raw energy of the Battleship movie? Yeah. Us either). You have to adorn it with so much extra crap that the original concept is the last soggy nacho under a pile of cheese.
In PONG Quest, you’ll explore a fantasy world as you encounter a variety of paddle opponents in energetic, battles. There are special PONG balls that do different things for different quests and situations, and they’ve invented a whole PONG world to explore. There does seem to be a lot of gameplay in this, but conceptually it’s still an elephant riding a go-kart. All the appeal and play value is in what they added to the original concept, because the original game was so thin there’s almost nothing there.
If you still want to try it, you can get it now on Steam with a limited-time 20% discount off the regular price of $14.99 USD, and it will be available on consoles soon.
Download PONG Quest on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1177030/PONG_Quest
Watch the PONG Quest official trailer here:
PONG Quest will launch on Nintendo Switch™, PlayStation®4, and Xbox One later this spring.
Additional Key Features Include:
- Paddle Customization: Design and personalize your own Paddle avatar with fun clothing, accessories, and more.
- Powerups Galore: Over 50 specialized PONG balls, each with their own unique attributes, grant players the ability to make their bounce-backs fiercer than ever.
- PONG for All: Engage in multiplayer mayhem with up to three other players, each with the ability to use specialized PONG balls, creating unpredictable twists and immeasurable fun.
Atari® is an interactive entertainment company. As an iconic brand that transcends generations and audiences, the company is globally recognized for its multi-platform, interactive entertainment and licensed products. Atari owns and/or manages a portfolio of more than 200 games and franchises, including world-renowned brands like Asteroids®, Centipede®, Missile Command®, Pong®, and RollerCoaster Tycoon®. Atari has offices in New York and Paris. Visit us online at www.atari.com.
About Chequered Ink
Chequered Ink is a game design duo based in Bath, UK. The Chequered Ink team operates at the boundaries of common sense, experimenting with weird and wonderful game mechanics. Hundreds of thousands of gamers are playing Chequered Ink titles on PCs, consoles and mobile devices. Popular titles include Maddening Euphoria, Spellworm and Gyro Boss. Visit us online at https://chequered.ink.
President of Krypton Media Group, Inc., radio personality and station manager of SCIFI.radio. Part writer, part animator, part musician, part illustrator, part programmer, part entrepreneur – all geek.