There was a time when everyone in the arcade industry had a Pong-clone out on the market. In fact that’s how many companies got their start in the video game industry was by copying Atari’s smash hit at the time. But it didn’t take long for that to fizzle out as more sophisticated games came along and held a greater appeal for players looking to play something a little more complex and ball-and-paddle type games are rarely seen in arcades anymore.
But last year Taiwanese company Subsino figured that it was a good time to revisit the genre with Kung Fu Ball. This game didn’t feature a paddle in the typical sense, instead it had five blocks which worked like boxing gloves for hitting the ball. The cabinet was quite nice and it was available internationally for a decent price and now it’s not alone. Chinese company Belrare has decided to make a new ball-and-paddle game of their own called Pong Pong. It’s based upon ArcaLands, which is an Arkanoid-clone for PC but it uses a cabinet very similar to Kung Fu Ball. It has a slider controller for moving your paddle from side-to-side but if this version contains the Arkanoid elements of hitting blocks in the center, that isn’t clear. A head-to-head Arkanoid-like game would be a lot of fun and more entertaining than a straight Pong concept but we are going to have to wait for Belrare to reveal more. I tried contacting Belrare for more information about the game as it is not listed on their website but so far they have not replied to my inquiries. Instead we have an entry for the game on the GTI International website that tells us a little bit about the game. From that page, this has to be my favorite line describing Pong Pong:
2.Two-player game machine, ideal for lovers, good friends, and families.
Nolan Bushnell has said that he’s had people tell him that they fell in love while playing Pong together so I guess Belrare is trying to recapture that magic. As Belrare games do make it to IAAPA, there’s a chance we could see this game at the Tecway/Belrare booth in November where we’ll find out if Pong Pong really is ideal for lovers.