Pong is one of those video games that I don’t need to explain. I say Pong and you can see it in your mind. But what if Pong was more? What if that ball you batted around for decades could escape and see the world? That’s the question asked and answered in Qomp 2, Atari’s upcoming, and odd, sequel to Pong.
Okay, I know I said I didn’t need to explain Pong, but just so everyone here is on the same page, here we go. Pong was developed and published by Atari in 1972 and quickly became a pop-culture phenomenon, a massive arcade hit, and helped establish the video game industry. Featuring two paddles, typically white, on a black background, players control these digital paddles to bounce a white block, aka the ball, back and forth. If one player misses blocking the ball with their paddle the other player gets a point. Repeat for decades. That’s Pong. But what if when the ball was banked off your paddle, it kept going and going? That’s Qomp 2.
Atari is calling Qomp 2 an “artful reimagining of Pong.” And I’d agree. In a new trailer released on August 29, we can see the strange sequel in action, with Pong’s iconic ball escaping and exploring new worlds and puzzle-filled levels. Players will use a simple two-button control scheme to explore and escape each area. Simply tap a button to change direction in 45-degree increments and then hold and release a second button to dash forward.
The Steam page for Qomp 2 indicates it will have 30 levels spread across four different worlds. The game will also include boss fights and what Atari’s calling an “enigmatic story” about “doubt, fear, and self-acceptance.” In other words, this ain’t your grandpa’s Pong, that’s for sure.
If Qomp 2 seems familiar beyond its connection to Pong, that’s because it’s a sequel to a smaller indie game, Qomp, released in 2021. That game had a similar concept but on a smaller scale, and was developed by Stuffed Wombat. This new, bigger follow-up isn’t being developed by Stuffed Wombat, but they seem happy about Qomp 2.
Atari didn’t share a release date for Qomp 2 beyond coming soon. In the meantime, I guess you could play Pong while you wait.