Pong, the original arcade game created by gaming legend Nolan Bushnell, was 40 years-old yesterday, having been released on 29 November 1972. And to celebrate, Atari - the company he also founded - has released the winner of the Pong Indie Developer Challenge, Pong World, on iTunes to download for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.
The original game, as surely everybody knows, featured a square "ball" and two paddles, one either side. The idea is to hit the ball back and forth until one side misses the ball. A point is then scored and the game continued.
Conceived as a two-player game, a single-player version was also designed to allow a gamer to play against the computer, but that's basically as complicated as it gets.
Pong World throws all manner of new features into the mix. For starters, the bats are creatures that you swipe up and down, you can put swerve and spin on the balls, and there's all manner of power-ups and collectables. The new app is a completely free download, although there is an in-app payment system to buy coins to spend on power-ups and upgrades for your bat. As you collect coins in the game, it's possible to play without parting with real world cash, but to do so will hasten your progress.
Pong creator Bushnell has recently spoken out against the Nintendo Wii U, launched today. He said he was "baffled by it" and didn't "think it's going to be a big success".
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