The Halting Point

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Plasma Pong. Best. Pong. Ever.

If you have a PC, click this direct download link and download Plasma Pong. By the time you have finished reading my review, it will have finished downloading and be ready to play within a minute or so. You will thank me later.

Play the regular game until you feel you have mastered the arcane complexities of what is essentially Pong on Shrooms and then play the Sandbox mode and you will be evilly amused.

Steve Taylor has taken pong, and placed the paddles in the realm of real-time fluid dynamics. You can alter these settings to adjust how the fluid environment the game takes place in reacts to movement in the fluid. This directly affects gameplay in the regular Pong mode but the Sandbox mode offers different tools that affect the plasma fluid environment in different ways. Your "brushes" are on the bottom row of the screen. The top row consists of different viewing methods that transform the screen using real scientific visualizations that are awesome to watch.

To play:
Move the paddle like in pong.
Left-mouse button: shoots plasma out of the paddle
Right-mouse button: draws in the plasma and ball to the paddle, then release to use a shockwave that will send the ball to the opponent.

What did I think?
  • Graphics: Top notch for what this game is trying to be, which is another insanely creative pong knock-off. They're very mesmerizing and the Sandbox mode friggin hypnotized me.

  • Sound: Decent music for a tiny free game like this. Nothing special, but it was enjoyable for the game. I liked how it sped up when things were getting intense.

  • Gameplay: Its pong...honestly. For me the main game didn't pose much of a challenge to me once I got down the system of "catching" the ball and firing it back effectively. The Sandbox mode on the otherhand was amazing and could have easily hooked me for a solid hour of just tinkering around with the fluid world. Awesome work in terms of bringing this to reality as a visualization of something that tends to be fairly boring and numbers-oriented.

  • Overall: Sucks if you don't have a Mac because it is PC only. If you have a PC and did not listen to me at the beginning when I told you to download the game, you should smack yourself and click this link here for the direct download. I'm nice enough not to make you scroll back up to the top.

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