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Updated November 20, 2004

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Pong Worz

"Space-Age Pong Custom Made for QB!"

The Pong Tournament has begun, and you must choose the vehicle that you will bring into this new challenge. Will you choose the Scorpion, the speed vehicle designed for improved reflexes, or will you choose the Marauder, a battle vehicle specialized for destroying opponents outright to win the match?

Once you have made your decision, play through the many game modes offered in Pong Worz, from Classic Pong to a space-shooter like mode where you have to manuvuer your way out of an asteroid field!

Game Review
Graphics (n.)
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
The graphics in Pong Worz were wonderfully detailed, but missed the big picture. Paddle "ships" and the ball moved very well. The "burners" in the paddle turned on and off depending on which way the paddle moved, which was excellent. The explosions were well drawn and not just 50 or 100 different coloured concentric circles inside each other.

Despite all the good, there are four different versions of gameplay that will be gone into later, but in all four, the starting level of gameplay is made much more difficult by the fact that you cannot discern your paddle. In Tournament mode, this hinderance can be overcome by selecting a different ship, but in the other three, there is nothing you can do to see your ship (except close your eyes and play Pong inside your head, hmmm, original story idea?). If you select the different ship in tournament mode, the gameplay is still hindered by the fact that you cannot see your opponent's ship, who you have to shoot.

The reason you cannot see your paddle is because of the background selection. The background is the same color as your ship, and the only way you have any idea of knowing where your ship is located is by the movement of stars in the background. This is such a big gripe that it in itself loses three points is because it negatively affects the gameplay - three of the four gameplay modes are made that much more difficult by one little background nuisance.

Other backgrounds in the game include suns, lakes, and mountains. This makes the game easier to look enjoy, but unfortunately the backgrounds do not slow down, speed up, or block the path of the ponged ball.

Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
There are little "beeps" and "boops" which neither heighten nor hinder the Pong Worz experience. You can also have the option of turning the sound off. Nothing fancy.
Gameplay (n.)
The precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
Kudos to Lachie for putting in four game modes, but three of these modes have the paddle viewing difficulty factor. The main mode is tournament, and the other three are classic pong (Pong without any objects or warring) and a one-game mode of Pong Worz that can be two player. The other is an asteroid shooting game, where you have to shoot the asteroids, made very difficult by the background choice.

The in-game pong play is good, to a point. Pong Worz is regular pong, except for the warring part. In the end, though, you stick around for the pong because of the gameplay. The only way for your ammunition to reload is if you get an ammo bar by shooting (not touching) an object that scurries across the screen, whether it be a dune buggy or asteroid. When you're out of ammo you can't shoot these ammunition caps to reload, so you're screwed. The ammo also carries over, so if you run out of ammo in the first segment, you can't get any more.

Plusses during the game include the 'Worz' until ammo runs out. Trick balls abound, too, making the challenge a little greater. Acceleration and inertia add to the pong experience. It's good Pong, but the Worz needs work. 

Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
(Very Poor) QBasic has already seen a Pong tournament (in StattoPong) and a Pong Battle game (in Bud the Fish's Pong Game). Pong Worz makes a lackluster attempt to combine these two concepts into one. In some ways, it works; unfortunately there really is no story driving that force like the burners in the paddles. Some battles take place on the surface of different planets. This is fine except for the fact that you have no emotional tie to the planet or battle, since it is fictional, instead of having the battle take place on Uranus or Pluto.
Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated again and again
Once the tournament is done and finished (after a big three games) you are not likely to play it again, but different modes are offered. You may want to play with a friend, or try your hand at Classic Pong. These are solid in, again, the paddle background color factor. The main game, though, is the pong war tournament, and this fails at bringing you back time and time again.

What would help would be some different levels of difficulty, or more than one tournament. The three mini-games aren't enough to keep you coming back.

Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes
The challenge is more the pong, trying to make out your paddle from the background. Fortunately, the Pong is of good quality, with trick balls, etc, and the Pong Warz will usually take more than once to win. Unfortunately there is no way to alter difficulty, enabling a difficult challenge; also the computer AI is easily beatable. 
Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
The final score for this game is probably a little low; the graphics need a little work but the Pong is solid, hampered only by the graphics. The warring part is supposed to be the clincher, but it doesn't pay off because of reliance on and lack of ammunition.

The pong in this game is top-notch pong. If it were simply pong (with a green background, etc) it would recieve a higher score; if the background were fixed (background selection?) it would recieve a higher score. That's been said the whole review, so it's a pretty big problem, and if it were fixed, I'd say Pong Worz gets in the mid-teen's range easily, if not higher.

Pong Worz Reviewed by Diamond Titan

Players 1-2 players
Genre: Arcade Game
Rating To solve: 10 min Final Rating: 9/35

To download Pong Worz (90.5KB), click here.
wTo play Pong Worz, unzip the file and run "PONGWORZ.EXE".

Back to Arcade Games Page

Game Summary
Coding Group
Homepage URL
1-2 players
Final Rating
9 out of 35 points

The Highs: Great Pong physics allow you to make trick shots.
The Lows: Poor color selection between the paddle and the background makes the paddles in the game difficult to see.

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