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Saturday, December 16, 2006
This is the fifth in a series of Slamdance Finalist reviews.

Plasma Pong is Steve Taylor's remake of Atari's 1972 arcade game Pong, but it's a remake with a very interesting twist. Instead of batting a ball back and forth in the 2D, gravity-free vacuum of the classic, Plasma Pong moves the game into a 2D fluid field.

As the ball bounces and the paddles move, they interact with the field through simulated fluid dynamics. The state of the field is presented with both a color map (showing---I'm guessing---the fluid pressure at each point in the field) and particles that are suspended in the fluid. The suspended particles help to reveal currents, eddies, and other features of the flow. The ball is also suspended in the fluid, and its motion can be affected dramatically by the flow. As the fluid gets stirred up, the ball's motion can become quite unpredictable.

You can affect the state of the fluid with more than just the motion of your paddle, however. The left mouse button sends a stream of fluid out from the center of your paddle, while the right button sucks fluid into your paddle. The suction is strong enough to attract and retain the ball. Once the paddle fills with fluid, releasing the right mouse button creates shockwave in the fluid that hurtles the ball back into the field.

The game is visually dazzling. Yeah, it's very 2D, but I still found my jaw on the floor---it's hard to believe that a computer in 2006 can actually produce such a display.

Read the full review at Arthouse Games.

Name: Plasma Pong
Developer: Steve Taylor
Category: Classic Remake
Type: Freeware
Size: 7.41 MB


Anonymous Anonymous said at 12/18/2006 12:50:00 PM:  
I have had this game on my laptop for some time.

It's a nice game to play with two people behind the keyboard. And it doesn't take much time to get into.