AR PingPong Rally Game Review (ARKit)

Today I came across an interesting game called AR PingPong Rally. The game plays like the VR game HoloBall and the classic Pong-style action game. The game reimagined the 1972′ classic Atari Pong game in augmented reality. In this game, you play against an AI opponent. The idea is to use your iPhone or iPad as the racket. You need to hit a wall and make it touch the wall behind the AI opponents. The same goes to the other AI player, it needs to make the ball touch the wall behind you.

Your goal is to try to score as many goals as possible. If the AI manages to score even one time, the game ends.

The entire gameplay area takes place in a square tunnel area. The ball can bounce on any of the walls. The idea is to use the walls to create trick shots that will confuse your opponent and make the ball harder to hit.

Now AR PingPong Rally really looks and plays like a game in pre-alpha stage or a like a concept, more than a complete game. The said the gameplay feels really nice in AR.

I’ve tried to play a Table Tennis game in augmented reality, a game called Table Tennis AR, but the experience in augmented reality wasn’t good. I always question the option to play a game like Table Tennis where the phone is your racket. It just seems like a bad game design. You want the angle of view of you to be controlled by where you are looking, not by where the racket is. My fears came true as soon as I played the game Table Tennis AR, I just didn’t enjoy it. Not any type of game translates well in AR. You really need to carefully work on the game’s design to make it work well in AR.

Now, this is the first AR game developed by Chrono Juvenile, the developer of this game. It’s nice of the developer taking the classic Pong-style game and bringing it to AR. That being said, having a great idea isn’t enough and you can clearly see that the execution is very much lacking.

I did like the classic arcade music and the opening screen, but there is still a lot to be done to make the game feels exciting like better visuals, add splashing effects, add power-ups, add the option to play again a real player, add a global leaderboard, make a league for progressing and replay value, etc. The fun play factor is there, no doubt about it, but it definitely needs more work.

I do hope that the developer read it and I hope it will be encouraged to put more effort into improving his ARKit game.

You can download the game here.

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