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aka: Barrel-Pong, Dr. Pong, Pong In-A-Barrel, Puppy Pong, Snoopy Pong, Tele-Games: Pong, 컴퓨터 TV

The game that revolutionized the amusement industry

The Good
Tennis for Two (T4T) was one of the earliest video games where players hit a ball back and forth between them using a series of knobs and buttons. The 1958 game was the inspiration for a handful of tennis simulations that were released over the following decades, one of which was Pong, the first ever game from Atari.

When it was released 14 years later, it was the only game that stood out in the arcades. It was a wooden cabinet painted yellow all around, and the monitor was encased inside an upside-down trapezoid. The attract mode in the game just features the ball ricocheting off both sides of the black-and-white CRT monitor. A space-aged logo with no artwork served as the marquee.

I like how Pong is based around a simple concept. Two players pass a ball between them, and attempt to score a point by making their opponent miss. It is like tennis, only there is no such thing as “love”, “all”, or “deuce”. Also, the game is quite short: only 11 points needed for a win (or 15, depending on the position of the dip switches). The game can also do one player, but this would involve operating both knobs.

For a game released in the early '70s, Pong's graphics were not that bad for the time. The paddles are located on both sides of the screen, with a dashed vertical line in the center of the screen, representing the net which the ball spawns from. It was also the only machine that stood out. There are sound effects in the game, but they play a minor role. They are heard when you score a point, hit the ball with the paddle, and when the ball hits the bottom of the screen.

The Bad

The Bottom Line
If you know how to play tennis, you should how to play Atari's first game. Although the graphics and sound were primitive, they were good for the time. Just like Tapper released 11 years later, Pong machines were installed in bars and taverns, where it was a hit with the patrons. Atari released several sequels over the years, and there were dedicated home consoles such as Nintendo's TV-Game 6. In conclusion: timeless!

by Katakis | カタキス (43228) on November 7th, 2018

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