MultiPong for iPad isn’t so smashing

Jun 16, 2010
Games

For those of you looking for a multi-touch, multi-player HD version of pong with pinball-like features, then this is the game for you. The basic arcade game from the 70’s can be owned as an updated version for only $2.99 on an iPad near you. Like it’s predecessor, the MultiPong iPad app is quite simple. […]

For those of you looking for a multi-touch, multi-player HD version of pong with pinball-like features, then this is the game for you. The basic arcade game from the 70’s can be owned as an updated version for only $2.99 on an iPad near you.

Like it’s predecessor, the MultiPong iPad app is quite simple. You control a bumper as a pinball bounces around. The goal is to bump the pinball past other player’s bumpers, while not letting the pinball go past yours. During the game, random items will appear, that if hit with the ball, will unleash one of many options: another ball, add gravity towards one side, create obstacles on the board, or speed up the pinball.

The graphics are pretty cool and crisp. The gameplay almost looks realistic, but gets somewhat boring after a bit (our expectations have evolved since the Carter administration, I guess). The background is just a wood plank, and the silver pinball just rolls back and forth. For some, this simplicity might be appealing, but for me, with such a mundane game, I’m looking for a little pizzazz somewhere. Don’t expect any here.

Almost nothing about the game can be changed; background, colors, sounds are all static. Only the amount of players that are playing on the always square board can be chosen. Even though it utilizes the iPad’s larger screen and multi-touch capability, the area for the pinball to roll around in still seems pretty small, and with only 3 lives per game, each game ends pretty quickly. I would have liked to be able to choose how many lives I want each game to be (maybe 10 for a crazy battle royale with my best bud), but with this app, it’s not the case. Also, with up to four people playing at once, games go by quite fast, and having four hands touching the iPad at once can get pretty clustered.

Another flaw I found is that there is no real single-player mode. The single-player mode they provide is the exact same as the two-player mode, except it tells you to use two hands, and it keeps track of your score. Why in single-player mode would I want to play against myself? To see if my right hand is better at multi-pong than my left? This game should either change the single-player mode to be against the computer, or just remove it completely.

I could see myself playing this game with a group of my friends at first, and some games getting pretty heated. It could be fun if people really got into it and trash talking occurred. But after a while, I think that they would get bored, since the game isn’t malleable, and you can only be leaning over an iPad playing a pong game for so long before your back/wrist/brain hurts. Overall, MultiPong is a decent game, I just tend to prefer flashier games with bright flashing colors and things blowing up, neither of which happen in the game.

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