If Breakout and Pong got together and had a kid, the end result might be something like Anti Pong, a game that goes against your every instinct and desire to volley the ball back at your opponent, when in reality you must do the exact opposite and avoid that ball.
Avoid the ball? Everybody knows how to play Pong, aka digital table tennis (and one of the world’s earliest arcade games), and that the whole point (like in tennis) is the keep the ball going and, if you miss it, your opponent gets a point. Simple, right?
In Anti Pong, this is definitely not the case. In fact, Anti Pong‘s fiendish twist is that your paddle has the property of…Breakout bricks! Yes, we all know Atari‘s early Breakout game as well as its more advanced classic mid-80’s cousin Arkanoid (which we retro-game reviewed last year).
What all this means of course, is that your paddle is vulnerable. If the ball hits your paddle it will indeed volley right back towards your opponent, but not before taking out a piece of your paddle. You know, kind of like what happens in Breakout? Now you don’t want to run out of paddle, do you? No, you don’t. So you better avoid that ball even if your first instinct is to hit the ball with your paddle. Anti Pong is a great exercise in flipping expectations around which is also why Anti Pong is so aptly named. A game that is not what you expect and that messes with you just enough so that you still have a good time.