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Pong is getting a "creative sequel" in which you play the ball

That's a paddlin'

A screenshot of Qomp2, a "creative sequel" to Pong, showing a ball bouncing around a 2D monochrome labyrinth roamed by angry dino heads.
Image credit: Atari
When The Lord of the Rings: Gollum was announced a few years back, the general response was "who on Middle-earth would want to play as Gollum". I'm wondering if Atari and Graphite Lab's "creative sequel" to Pong will face a similar reception. Released in the 70s, the original Pong was videogame tennis. In this reinvention - which, confusingly, is also a sequel to Stuffed Wombat's Qomp, with the Pong branding sort of ladled on top - the homely pixel ball has shattered one player's paddle and escaped into an Axiom Verge-esque labyrinth of spikes, energy beams and floating T-Rex heads. Filing this premise somewhere on the "what if" spectrum between the Edge line about talking to the monsters in DOOM and people demanding to land on gas giants in Starfield. Find a trailer through the jump.
Watch on YouTube

OK, so unlike the Gollum game, Qomp 2 does seem pretty swish. I am getting pungent whiffs of Labyrinth Zone, and there are some nice single-screen Pac-Man-meets-Celeste puzzle setups in there. It feels like a fleshed-out version of an entry to last year's PongJam, hosted by Digital Extremes technical designer Scott Melanson, which gave us such wonders as Turn-Based Pong and Pong meets the Iranian Revolution. The logical plotline here is surely for the left paddle to return as the final boss.

It definitely feels more like a thinly rebranded Qomp sequel than a Pong game, however, which speaks to modern-day Atari's rather cynical handling of the Atari license and back catalogue. "The creature wearing the skin of Atari mostly makes stupid junk I don't care about," Alice0 observed in a piece on Atari's acquisition of community-run database MobyGames. "It can trade on other people's glories by spaffing off blockchain rubbish and hotels that won't get built and bad microconsoles and endless re-releases with the logo and rights it bought, and I'll think it's stupid but basically not care (aside from that cryptojunk, which is abhorrent)."

Stuffed Wombat, at least, have said they're "really excited to see how Atari is carrying our work forward". You might also be interested in this Pong homage from Bennett "Getting Over It" Foddy.

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