Copyright/Publisher: Imagine, Release Year: 1986,
Genre: Table Tennis, Number Of Players: 1 or 2
Do you remember when a revolutionary new form of entertaintainment - a machine called Pong - first
appeared in amusement arcades everywhere and everyone said: 'Golly, how thrilling - a
revolutionary new form of entertainment!'? Do you remember when Binatone turned it inot
a 'home arcade console' and everyone said: ' Golly, how thrilling - an arcade game in
our bery own place of residence!'? No? Well, since then there's not been much heard of
Pong. Until now that is, for Imagine have taken the theme, turned it from a horizontal game to
a near vertical one and added an extra dimension with 3D graphics.
Ping Pong is played according to the rules of table tennis, the winner being the
first to score eleven points. Only one player can play against one of five different
computer opponents - there is no two player option. Level one is a bit docile and bats
the ball slowly around the table, but level five is a crazed pongicidal maniac who shows
The game is always viewed and played from the base line with your bat positioned
about a quarter of the way up the screen (get your eyes and position them above one of
the screen shot of you're confused). The score and other relevant information, whether
the ball is in or out, for example, is displayed either side of the table. Crowds flank
each side of the screen and play a small part in the game - the ones on the right cheer
the computer and the ones on the left cheer you.
After playing Ping Pong on the Amstrad and Spectrum I expected great things of the
64 version, but unfortunelately it isn't anything special. There is a lack of variety
in shots and it seemed to make little difference whether a shot was played early or late.
This makes the game rather dull to play. The graphics are OK, nut I would have expected
a jolly title screen tune or something as the Spectrum version had an amazing little ditty.
If you're a table tennis nut then I suppose this is a good buy, but there are better games
Ping Pong is initially quite good fun, but it soon proves boring to play due to its
simplistic nature. Although there is a reasonable variety of shots available, the computer
player doesn't seem to respond that differently to them.
The graphics and sound are OK, but it would have been nice to have had some original
Martin Galway music on the title screen. Ping Pong is an improvement over the original
Pong and more enjoyable to play, but not much.
Yet another case of a potentially good game ruined by the restrictions imposed by the
licensing deal. This is a conversion of the arcade game Ping Pong and a very close conversion
it is too. Unfortunelately, arcade Ping Pong isn't very good in the first place.
In a word, or a couple of words, it's dull. The graphics and sound are on a par with
the gane, ie. dull. I couldn't honestly recommend buying Ping Pong, but it may be worth
a look at if table tennis is what you enjoy most.