The creature wearing the skin of Atari have revisited perhaps the most iconic video game of the company whose bones it sucked clean of marrow then crunched to dust and swallowed, today releasing Pong Quest. It’s Pong, but also sort of a dungeon-crawler. I am sceptical of everything the creature wearing the skin of Atari does, especially after terrible decisions like rebooting Asteroids as a multiplayer survival game (since vanished), but new twists on old arcade games can turn out quite fun. HMMM. Observe, a trailer follows.
Pong Quest builds upon ye olde paddle ‘n’ ball tennising with dungeon-crawling dressing, character customisation, some sort of story, and ballbattles with powers and fights drawing bits from other Atari arcade games like Asteroids and Centipede. It also has a four-player battle mode.
The RPG dressing sounds whatever and I do not like how Pong Quest looks but I am potentially up for weird Pong variants. Rebuilding classic rules in a new way can be great. Bandai Namco’s Pac-Man Championship Edition and Space Invaders Extreme are fantastic new takes on their source material. Pippin Barr has made many surprising and delightful variants of classics, including Breakouts, Pongs, Chesses, and Chogue. And Holedown, which came to PC the other week, is a proper lovely take on Breakout that I strongly recommend you play. There is potential here?
Pong Quest is out now on Steam. A 20% launch discount brings it down to £9.11/€9.99/$11.99 until Tuesday the 28th. It’s made by Chequered Ink.
The creature wearing the skin of Atari (the French company formerly known as Infogrames) are still making baffling and awful decisions. In 2018 they crowdfunded a new console, the Atari VCS, which sounds like a worse Ouya. Now they’re being sued by the console’s designer, who claims Atari haven’t paid everything they owe him. But the Atari brand fact clearly still holds value and trust if the public will pledge $3,058,123 to an idea as patently daft as the Atari VCS. The creature trudges on.