With An S: Pongs Is The Greatest Game(s)

By Nathan Grayson on April 11th, 2012 at 10:00 pm.

One day all games will look like this.

I think Pippin Barr may be in the running for developer of the year – and also Time Magazine’s person of the year and a Nobel Peace Prize. After the deceptively incredible Epic Sax Game debuted a couple weeks ago, Barr’s back with Pongs. No, not Pong. Someone else sort of already made that 40 years ago. Barr’s delightful spin on the tennis-played-in-a-void-of-infinite-darkness sim is made up of 36 variations - most of them absolutely hilarious, and some of them legitimately excellent.

The screenshot above, for instance, hails from Unfair Pong. You can probably connect the dots. Other standouts include Edutainment Pong, which pairs rapid-fire reflexes with geography-based multiple choice questions, Turn-Based Pong, which should be self-explanatory, and Serious Pong, an incredibly nuanced discussion of illegal refugees. It’s all positively glorious.

Go check it out, and prepare to laugh until you cry crocodiles. No, that’s not a typo.

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21 Comments »

  1. verilyso says:

    I was hoping for Spong. Preferably in a posty.

  2. McDan says:

    So now I can legitimately say that I have ALL the pongs? Excellent.

  3. DiamondDog says:

    Ponged up to my eyeballs.

  4. Spinoza says:

    Fact # 0:10 : Epic Sax Guy main hobby ( after sax obv ) is ping pong.

  5. Bisyss says:

    You know that thing that happens when you see a word so often it ends up losing all meaning and just becomes a slightly weird looking collection of shapes? Yeah.

    P.S. Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong Pong

  6. PleasingFungus says:

    My favorite has to be Viennese Pong.

    I mean, there are quite a lot of them that I like, but… you can’t compete.

    • Ricc says:

      I also liked Viennese Pong the best – among other reasons because I’m legitimately able to play it. ^^

      Pretty clever stuff in there. Great example of a guy flexing his game design-muscle.

  7. Tom Walker says:

    Oh come now, it’s not that amazing. Commendably silly, I suppose.

    • Prime says:

      I’ve come now, like you asked. Not sure how that helped but I did it anyway. What next?

  8. Armante says:

    Brilliant, just brilliant

  9. Skabooga says:

    Darn, it’s moments like these where I regret not having a spouse. I do not have the dexterity to play both sides at the same time.

  10. pertusaria says:

    But will we be able to talk to the ball?

    I love Pong – I discovered it because it came bundled with one of the Commander Keen games.

    Edit, having actually played a few of the variations: I liked Snake Pong, and some of the questions in Edutainment Pong were tricky enough.

  11. Birdman Tribe Leader says:

    Fertility pong is great! Although I crashed my browser by getting too many balls going at once.

  12. Hulk Handsome says:

    My favourite version of Pong is still Generic Turn-Based Video Tennis Game. It’s pong… BUT TURN BASED. It’s actually really fun, especially once you manage to get a rally going on.

    http://www.owengrieve.com/2010/12/22/turn-based-pong/

    (download link right at the bottom of the blog post)

  13. apocraphyn says:

    Well, it’s no Poleriders – but it’s certainly entertaining. Great for whiling away the hours at work when there’s little else better to do. Cheers, Nathan!

  14. ScottHarrigan says:

    This is extremely creative and without all of the fancy graphics of modern gaming systems. This game focuses so much on being creative with what it has, instead of squandering amazing graphics and advanced technology as many contemporary games often do. This captures an aspect of gaming that many people tend to forget and that’s fun. If Barr made such full use of low tech graphics like this, it would be incredible to see what he could do with 16 bit games or even beyond. This game seems similar in theme to 3D Dot Heroes in that it seems like a love letter to retro gaming and the creativity that was needed in a lower tech world.

    http://www.videodetective.com/games/3d-dot-game-heroes/877915

  15. Devenger says:

    Had great fun playing some of these with my brother. Tetris Pong was particularly amusing, until the game inevitably got unplayable.

  16. SmittyBit says:

    Dumb.