3-D Vector Pong
Pong paddles its way onto the iPhone in this attractive but limited tech demo.
Some games, like Ms. Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, withstand the test of time. Others, like Pong, don't fare as well. Don't get us wrong. Pong's back and forth paddling is great when applied to Sega's Virtua Tennis series, but as for straight up, old school Pong, we're not feeling it. That's why paying $1.99 for 3-D Vector Pong made us groan. What you have here is an impressive tech demo that is one of the iPhone's better looking games, but it doesn't have enough options to keep us coming back.
As its name implies, 3-D Vector Pong is a futuristic looking version of the ancient arcade classic, except you play from behind your paddle instead of moving it up and down. It's a neat effect, playing within this 3-D space, and we like maneuvering the paddle by physically moving the iPhone. It's a bit sensitive, but once we got the hang of it, we ricocheted the ball off walls and past our computer opponent, at least on the easy difficulty. Medium and hard, however, are a different matter. If you feel like getting into long volleys with a skilled artificial intelligence, this game delivers.
Unfortunately, that's about all there is. You and a friend can play against each other if you both own iPhones and are within range, but aside from single and multiplayer, there are no other modes. It's just you and your paddle. That's what makes spending $1.99 for it a bit ridiculous. We sound like cheapskates, but for $2, we expected a little more than the same game with a shiny new wrapper. Give us power ups or a mission mode. Heck, give us some music.
It's the lack of these features that had us deleting this game from our phones. 3-D Vector Pong is cool for the occasional match against a friend, but there are better iPhone games out there. If, however, Apple sells it for free, be sure to download it.
What's Hot: Futuristic looking graphics, semi addictive two player mode.
What's Not: Little more than a tech demo, no additional modes, no music, $1.99 seems like too much.