April 1, 2015 4:10 PM | Luca Colosso
Finding a friend or two to play a local multiplayer game isn't an easy task nowadays. But if you've got anyone in your household who can handle a keyboard, then please, do invite them to join you in a game of PACAPONG. Dick Poelen made this for the Pong-themed MiniLD #58 jam in about nine days, and even though the time was limited, the game feels complete and not rushed at all.
Among the more or less functional clones of the classic arcade game, PACAPONG really stood out. In fact, this is not just Pong. It's an entertaining ode to the lost arcade era, enjoyed through short one-minute battles. With the WASD keys one of the two players gains control of the orange bar on the left, whereas the arrow keys are used to move the red bar situated on the right side of the screen. The field is structured as a Pac-Man grid, and the ball that is supposed to bounce between the two players is none other than Pac-Man himself. As you send him into the maze, you can also control his trajectory in order to digest as many pellets as possible. But the most important element that you're supposed to grab are the Space Invaders tokens which appear in random places.
Malicious starships appear on the enemy's side whenever you remove a tiny invader from the maze. Though it adds one more thing to take care of, thankfully moving horizontally is a thing you can do here. Other than that, the rules regarding Pac-Man's ghosts are still the same, and letting him collide with them will put you behind in the interesting score system shown at the top of the screen. Getting hit by the ships and conceding a goal have the same effect, which roughly equates to losing a good chunk of points as well as giving some to your opponent.
Towards the end of every match, another character from an old game also makes an appearance. It's Donkey Kong, and disregarding of who's ahead or who's behind, he'll throw barrels all over the place which must be dodged at all costs. They're deadly to both players, score-wise.
PACAPONG is free, and it's available for Windows, Mac, and Linux on its Ludum Dare page.