There’s bound to be plenty of you who have no real recollection of Pong in its original form, but for those of you who do, Ball & Bat Retro – Pong Included is an iPhone app designed to let you relive the experience of the classic paddle and ball game.
Even with its clean adaptation to iPhone and touch, if you have no interest in retro games Ball & Bat Retro won’t impress you much. Even for someone who appreciates the classic games, revisiting some of them on a device that can do all that the iPhone can do is a bit like baking a freezer pizza in a convection oven. Nonetheless, Ball & Bat Retro – Pong Included is a set of four games – tennis, football, squash, and squash practice – for your iPhone or touch that is pretty much as retro as it gets.
Putting aside the argument of whether classic games like Pong are still fun to play, Ball & Bat Retro - Pong Included has a few features that take advantage of the iPhone technology. For starters, the touch screen controls work well – simply use your finger to control your paddle. You can play one or two player versions of each game and choose a small or large bat size. You can also elect to change the background color and the color of the ball. The most appealing feature of Ball & Bat Retro – Pong Included is the ability to set any picture in your camera roll as the background.
There isn’t a great deal to say about Ball & Bat Retro aside from the obvious. If you’re not into new games, but want an easy to figure out, easy to play, somewhat unexciting game to help you pass the time, then Ball & Bat Retro is a good place to start. I sort of figured out that I could set up Squash to play and position my paddle so that I could actually walk away and the game would stay in progress, simply batting the ball back and forth at nearly the same angle so that moving my paddle was unnecessary. True, I couldn’t score any points this way, but I just wanted to see if the AI player would respond by changing the position of its bat.
Ball & Bat Retro – Pong Included isn’t for everyone. It’s a decent revival of the classic ball and paddle games and at least it operates cleanly. I found it more entertaining to come up with different photo backgrounds for the playing field than actually playing the game for any extended period of time, but to each their own. Still, in all fairness, Ball & Bat Retro wasn’t designed to be a new take on a classic, it was intended to be exactly what it is.