The popular first-generation arcade game meets the next generation of fluid physics in this awesome abstract game. The basic rules of Pong still apply (move the paddle to reflect the bouncing ball), but in addition, you can project (by pressing the left mouse button) or absorb (with the right) a jet of a color-changing, plasma-like fluid from your paddle, which fills your screen, making it look trippy, and in which the ball will move according to the fluid dynamics.
You have 10 lives; when the other player scores on you, you lose one (when you hit zero, it's game over). But when you score on your adversary, it doesn't love a life; instead, you gain a level. RPG gamers, don't misunderstand me: you don't gain power with this level up; instead, the ball becomes more reactive to the plasma, the epic duel music plays faster, your enemy becomes better, and the game becomes harder, in a Tetris-like fashion.
Getting used to the way the plasma affects the ball can seem tricky, but actually it's pretty intuitive and great fun, as is playing with any game that simulates real physics or fluid dynamics (just take a look at Jenova Chen's thesis about flow in games and the games he has implemented based on that, such as Cloud and flOw).
The game features a sandbox mode, so you can test the game engine and experiment withsome variables, as well as a multiplayer mode, which is the jewel of the crown.
In a short: a great take on a classic game, with impressive visuals, great gameplay, but still simple and addictive. Steve Taylor has done a great job; sadly, Atari claims they own the word 'Pong' (if somebody can own an onomatopoeia) and closed Steve Taylor's website. Luckily, the game is still available through other sites (such as the link we provide above), and its author states he's working on a new project, even more spectacular. We look forward to hear more of it, but until then, Play this thing!.