PONG Quest from Atari and Chequered Ink is an RPG take on the old-school gaming classic. Does it stick the landing? Find out in our PONG Quest review!
PONG Quest from AtariAtari and Chequered InkChequered Ink is a revamped take on the classic “hit the ball with your paddle to try and beat your opponent,” now with an RPG twist! You will embark on an adventure presented to you by King Pong himself, as you venture onwards in search of the Orbs that can help to open the mysterious and creepy Spooky Door, which is a handful of doors away from your starting position in the throne room.
The game will immediately send you into a tutorial battle as soon as you start Quest Mode. In it, you will get to learn the basics for PONG Quest. You will move your paddle with the left analog stick or the D-Pad, using it to hit the ball back to your opponent. Your goal will be to hit the ball so that it goes past your opponent to win the battle. Every time you hit the ball, you will lose some of your health, and so will your opponent. You can change balls by pressing the L and R buttons to introduce balls with different effects, such as a curveball that will move in an arc after being hit, or a bouncy ball with a bit more punch. Once your opponent is in critical health, score one last point to defeat it!
Your first stop after the initial match in the game will be the Tutorial Dungeon, in which you’ll learn about exploration. Those of you old enough to remember gaming from back in the Atari 2600 days will immediately recognize the homage to the game Adventure. As you explore a dungeon, you will meet opponents who will battle you in PONG matched. Opponents will spot you as soon as you walk close to them, which is why you should always make sure you’re ready for action. You can also locate small treasure chests in some rooms, as well as treasure chests that might require that you first find a key to open them.
Win, and along with experience points and gold coins, you might also receive extra balls for your inventory and perhaps a skin or other customization item for your character. Once you earn enough experience points, your character will level up. With every level up you achieve, you will get to select from three upgrades for your character. You could, for instance, select to boost its overall hit points (HP), add an extra slot to your inventory so that you can carry more balls with you, or show all rooms on your minimal even if you have yet to explore them. I suggest your first upgrade to be an extra inventory slot so that you can have a wider variety of balls since they can make a big difference in battle.
The gold coins can be used with the merchant you will find in each of the dungeons. You can purchase more balls for your inventory or other customization options for your character so that the vendor can earn an honest living and feed its little young paddles. With 32 skins, 84 hats, 46 accessories, 82 suits, and more than 50 ball types, there’s a lot of stuff you can get with your hard-earned coins.
Along with the exploration and the many PONG battles you will take on, there will also be some puzzles here and there for you to solve, which add some variety to the game. There will also be boss battles to take on that will bump up the difficulty, testing your skills. Since PONG is the basis for the game, you can take the good old classic for a spin in this one. You can play the Local Classic Mode or Local Battle Mode against another human opponent in couch multiplayer, or you can dive into the online multiplayer. For the online side of things, you’ either search for a public match or play with friends. You can customize your PONG paddle with a wide variety of colors, as well as add to it some headgear, some accessories, and even a t-shirt, dress, or suit.
PONG Quest is certainly an unexpected take on the video game classic that many of us grew up playing way back in the day. The PONG gameplay as the basis for battles is certainly a twist, although the dungeons are very minimalist and exist only to take players from point A to point B in the story – which doesn’t take itself too seriously. Including local multiplayer PONG classic and PONG battles for up to four players – 2 vs. 2 -, as well as online multiplayer, is a great decision, and something that elevates this one over its novelty main Story Mode package. It’s one of those “love it or hate it” types of games, but I have to say the game does have its charm, and I ended up playing it for hours as I leveled up my paddle and found new crazy ball types to use in battle. PONG Quest is out now on Nintendo Switch for $14.99.