OPINION: Part one of my favourite tennis videogames: Pong

PongA week-long feature this week, marrying tennis with another hobby of mine (one that – much to the dismay of my wife – I can still partake in) videogames.

Tennis is often accredited as being the subject of one of the first videogames – and it is here with Pong that we start our journey of my favourite tennis videogames.

A disclaimer first – this is not a list of the best tennis games – only those that I have owned. So seeing as I’ve never owned a Nintendo system, there’ll be no Mario Tennis.

So we begin – as we should – with the first of them all and the one which is responsible for not only every game on this list, but the eventual success of the entire medium.

Now I confess, i didn’t own or play the original Atari version either at home or in the arcade, Instead, it must’ve been one fo the many poor imitations of the classic.

But the formula remained the same, a beautiful mix of simplicity and addictive pick-and-playability. Hours were lost between me and my parents when I was about 7; soon enough I was gently ushered away to bed to leave these two perennial videogame haters to commence battle.

By modern standards it has little to offer, the graphics are as basic and monotone as you could find and there is nothing in the region of a soundtrack or any real variation in gameplay.

But that was never the point here – it was all about the one-on-one dual with a friend or computerised foe.

It may not have endured like its other contemporaries (Space Invaders, Pac-Man and Tetris remain the truly timeless granddaddies), but it is still very playable and still very relevant.


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