Atari’s Pong Quest turns the classic paddle game into an RPG

Atari is taking a break from building hotels because … well, the world is taking a break from hotels. In the interim, the publisher is bringing back one of the original gaming franchises. Pong Quest is a new entry in the ball-and-paddle series that remixes the action with a role-playing quest.

Pong Quest is launching this spring for Steam, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. The game has you playing as a paddle person (a human in the shape of a paddle). And it’s your job to take on other paddle people in the noble combat sport of Pong. In the trailer, you can see a clown paddle and something that looks like a witch. And, of course, you can unlock cosmetics to reflect your own personal paddle style.

In each stage, you will face new attacks and unique balls that change up the Pong action over time. You’ll even hop around an overworld and dungeons. If you encounter an enemy, you’ll have to play pong against them.

Pong Quest is the latest example of a company attempting to spruce up a brand to bring it back to prominence. We’ve seen companies like Bandai Namco do this successfully with games like Pac-Man Championship Edition DX. Other studios have also found an audience by cramming familiar mechanics into an RPG structure. Puzzle Quest famously did this with Bejeweled back in 2007. More recently, Roundguard has adapted Peggle’s pachinko-style gameplay to play more like an adventure game.

But based on early video, Pong Quest looks … rough. The visual design is ugly. And while maybe it’s trying to pay homage to the original Pong, the trailer actually ends up looking cheap.

Maybe I’ll just have to wait for Sony to make a Flipnic: Triple Paddle Quest.

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