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New Atari PONG Electromechanical game


Shaggy the Atarian
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I had the chance to play this at IAAPA 2017 last week and while it was the home version, it was a neat little game. Not 100% perfect as far as copying the original physics goes but still it is fascinating to watch and plays well. The paddles look huge but move quite smoothly. The version shown is for home use; a commercial version that is "the size of an air hockey table" is in development and intended for introduction next year some time.

 

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I didn't see this at IAAPA (the show is huge, and we were only there about half of one day), but they did bring one of the tables to the Free Play Florida show where it was setup in front of the AtariAge booth Saturday and Sunday. I had the opportunity to play it a bit, and watch many others play. It's a pretty cool idea and executed well, and it certainly attracts quite a bit of attention.

 

My main grief with it, though, is the paddles are too slow. The paddle does not move fast enough to get to the ball if it's far enough away from your paddle. This makes the game a bit frustrating if you're used to playing any paddle-based PONG games where the paddle works as a true analog controller and you can whip it around quickly.

 

If they can improve this aspect, I'd be much happier with it.

 

..Al

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It was a little surreal to see the booth as they had these columns with huge Atari and Pong logos on them.

 

I only played it single player where it was extremely tough and needed the difficulty adjusted. Here's hoping that UNIS has what it takes to improve it as their track record on improvements is spotty (usually only after they've had big clients pick it up and pay for the improvements). They seemed to hint that the commercial version will be at Amusement Expo 2018 in Vegas; if so I'll get to see if that is worth grabbing for the arcade or not.

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