Ah, Pong, the first video game I ever played! If you’re like me and feeling nostalgic for the retro-goodness of Pong, Pac-Man, or even Space Invaders, boy are you in luck.
Pacapong is a new free game that mashes up all three of these fantastic classic video games into one lovely multiplayer package that you can play on your Mac (or PC/Linux box) right now. How they all fit together is a mystery even the developer isn’t aware of.
“I’m actually not sure why,” developer Dick Poelen tells Cult of Mac, “but it started with adding Pac-Man and the maze to Pong. That seemed to make sense.”
Built for a mini game jam, or Ludum Dare, where the devs had to make a new game inspired by Pong (but not a direct clone), Pacapong sees two players on the same keyboard moving paddles up and down the sides of a Pac-Man maze, where Pac-Man is the ball and the Pong paddles destroy invaders from space.
It runs at a fluid 60 frames per second at 1080p resolution, so you can go full screen on your Mac. You can either play with the WASD and ZQSD keys on the same keyboard, or plug in a couple of game pads to control the paddles, which bat Pac-Man back and forth.
“Players … have to anticipate where he’d come out of the maze to catch him,” says Poelen. “The invaders came after that; it seemed a good way to keep the players on their toes, even if they hadn’t anything to do with Pac-Man at the moment.”
Pro tip: there’s a fourth retro game that you’ll encounter when you play Pacapong, but I won’t spoil it for you — you’ll just have to download and play it for yourself.
It’s super fun, easy to learn yet challenging, and a very retro way to combine more than one tasty thing together.