Way back in February, Atari announced a contest (which, full disclosure, I served as a volunteer judge for) to find some indie developers' takes on its classic Pong game to release on iOS. All summer long, a few different indie devs worked on pitches for their games, which were then voted on by the public, us judges, and then Atari for the final decision, and the winners were announced back in August. And now, today, the first winner has arrived on the App Store: Pong World, by zGames, won the grand prize in Atari's contest.
As you can see in the video below, it's a fun and colorful take on Pong -- maybe a little too colorful for fans of the retro title, but especially as a free download, it's worth a try. The idea is that each paddle you use is actually a little (somewhat creepy) creature, and you can earn coins to power them up for better upgrades and more different powers. There are a few different ways to play each stage, and the game is a fun take on the simple and enduring idea of Pong.
The app's freemium elements are worth a mention, in that they are pretty terrible. Ads pop up in between almost every game, and the coins themselves aren't worth very much -- if you want to unlock everything without spending any money, you'll need to play a whole lot. These elements weren't in the original game I judged, and I expect we'll see some tweaks to them in the future. Of course Atari wants to make some money on this freemium title, but what's in there now is a bit too annoying.
At any rate, Pong World is the first fruits of this long contest, so it's your first chance to see what came out of all that work these indie devs put in. It's available for free on the App Store right now.