Positioned as a sibling game to PING 1.5, PING REDUX is a one part puzzle game and one part Arkanoid. Unlike the numerous Break-Out/Brickles clones out there, the goal isn’t to make a bouncing ball bump into all the pieces on the board. Instead, the player needs to have the ball touch an orange sphere on the other side of the screen, avoiding hazards and moving objects along the way. Uniquely, once the ball is set in motion, it continues on that path until the set number of bounces are allocated or until the orange sphere is touched. When the analog stick is held in a direction, a Matrix slow down effect allows the player to better line up the next trajectory.
Check out my stream of Ping Redux embedded below:
Like golf, the goal is to reach the hole using the least amount of moves. PING REDUX rewards the player for banking the ball the least amount of time off a wall. Some stages allow the player additional moves, allowing the ball to instantly pivot into any direction. These extra move stages are often found in the second half of available 100+ stages. Tapping the “Y” button also allows the player to instantly restart.
Composed of large pixels, each background looks like something from the Atari 2600 or NES era. In fact, some of the best and most memorable stages in the game are throwbacks to classic games. There are stages based around classic Pitfall, Super Mario Bros., Asteroids, Missile Command, and more. Each set of stages is also capped with a boss battle where the player needs to perform a certain task to proceed. For example, there is a stage that is essentially Missile Command where the player needs to prevent bombs from hitting the bottom of the screen. Gameplay revolves around one simple task but the variety of stages and objectives is enough to warranty the five dollar asking price. Thankfully, troublesome stages can be skipped and the next wave of stages can be unlocked just as long as the player earns enough stars along the way. There are some dastardly levels that ride the line of challenging versus annoying but since they can be bypassed, it is a nice compromise.
PING REDUX is a simple arcade style game that is entirely based around one gimmick. Luckily, it does this one thing pretty well and there are dozens of stages available. Features like a robust leaderboard and level creator are absent but it wouldn’t be right to complain for a game that only costs five bucks.
Don’t Forget About: Zuma
More Interesting Than: Hyperballoid
Also Try: Shatter (PS3)