This is a game that was in my collection for probably 2 years before I decided to try it out. I was glad I did. It's one of those games that are simple to learn, but very difficult to master. You know hitting a ball back and forth is fun... right? Well this game takes it too a whole new level (which is why it is called Pong: The Next Level). In Pong you start off with 1 challenge, each challenge has three variations, which get increasing difficult. You get 3 gold bars, and then 2 for the second level, the hardest level surprisingly only gives you one gold bar, but neither the less you have to complete every challenge on every level to become a Pong Master.
This game is fun; every level introduces new and exciting ways to play the game of Pong. Your standard updated you vs. the computer, with conveyer belts, killer robots, angry apes, winds of vortex and the like sprucing up the game. There are also a lot of single player challenges, and this is where I think the game really shines. You have puzzles like balancing a ball, putting sheep and keeping them in a certain area, a fishing level, and the hardest level, PONG BALL WIZARD - ON FIRE. This level took me about 100 tries, but it keep me coming back for more until I completed it (this level is one of the only levels that requires some luck, which is why I found it the hardest). After you complete all levels and get enough gold bars, you have to challenge the ATARI LOGO; you know the logo, three levels, one on the left part of the logo, then on the right, then up the centre of the Atari logo. I challenge you to get all 114 gold bars (I think), and completely master Pong like I did.
When you do complete the game you open up classic Pong, classic Pong Hockey, and Pong Football. They are a nice bonus, but the real reward is the satisfaction of completing all challenges on your own. The game is not without its faults though; one thing I noticed is the levels where the pong bat has to go on an angle, the ball will sometimes pass right though your bat.
The replay value is great; it will keep you coming back for more until the very end. And I never even played with another friend; you can also play against a friend, or 3 or 4 player battles. Imagine how fun that could be! Imagine the possibilities!
This game is cheap to buy now, and I recommend you pick up a copy for yourself.