Platform: Atari 2600 (Console)
Genre: BALL & PADDLE
I just HAVE to bring this game up, because this was the PONG-KILLER app! Nobody (uh, well nobody sane) ever really craved playing another “Pong-like” game again after they had this little cartridge. Load this up into your stylish, mill-grained Atari 2600 and you were blessed with 50 Variations of Ball and Paddle games! Pong, soccer, hockey, volleyball, basketball, single-paddle, multiple paddle, 1 player, 2 players, even 4 players… this is just a complete pong-fest!
PONG deserves a lot of credit as the game that launched an industry. It was also the game that launched Atari — being its first major hit and providing ongoing cashlow to test new ideas, genres and games. PONG was also the game that helped launch the home industry – first with the original Odyssey, but moreso with all the home console Pong clones. Coleco got into the game in a big way, as did Magnavox and Atari. And it was a driving force for Integrated-Circuits too… with General Instruments “Pong on a chip” and more.
Too much pong, though, and the industry experienced its first crash. By the time VIDEO OLYMPICS was released for the 2600, Pong was past its hey-day… a couple years past the individual “Pong Console” craze. And yet, Atari managed to add enough variety and styles of play to make this a worthwhile cartridge. I played this thing for hours against my brother back in the day… and there’s nothing quite like the precision of the paddle controllers when tackling this game today.
BUT, I can just imagine the Atari programmers completing this cartridge, breathing a collective sigh of relief and saying, “Okay! That’s it! We’ve done PONG in every way possible. Now, no more ever again!!” And so — for putting PONG to rest once and for all, this cartridge deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.