As far as competitive videogames go, you can’t get any simpler than Pong. But times have changed, and so have our tastes and need for mayhem. We can’t just have birds, they need to be angry birds. So if Pong is to be played by today’s gamers – bored adults and foul-mouthed adolescents alike – it can’t just have two paddles and a ball. There needs to be chaos.
Invented by Stacy Dudley and Brad Slattery, the RetroBall is a bat-and-ball game system – let’s just call a Pong a Pong and call it Pong. It has a 32×32 pixel LED screen, an acrylic enclosure and 1-bit sound effects. It’s clearly more powerful than the Wii U. The RetroBall has four paddle controllers so you can engage in four-player Pong deathmatches, and you can even increase the number of balls onscreen to five. It’s actually kind of reminiscent of Atari’s arcade classic Warlords.
But don’t let the cutting edge graphics and complicated gameplay fool you: you can’t just button mash your way to victory here like in your other modern games, primarily because there’s no button to mash, but also because skilled RetroBall players – probably named Stacy and Brad – are aware that you can change the spin and speed of a ball depending on how you hit it.
Pledge at least $149 (USD) on Kickstarter to reserve a RetroBall game system. Launch titles include 2-player Pong with 1 ball, 3-player Pong with 1 ball, 4-player Pong with 1 ball, 2-player Pong with 2 balls…