You remember Pong, right? One ball, two paddles; a pretty simple concept that managed to occupy people for hours. Now take the pong concept and build on it by removing walls, adding a third paddle, gravity, then toss in a blob named Bob and you end up with a little gem of a game that can still occupy you for hours.

At first blush things look pretty simple. You have to keep the Balltangle on the screen just by bouncing it between the paddles. But, as we all know, things never stay simple. After a few hits on the Balltangle the enemies appear with their pointy noses in a bid to take your Bob out. You would think the fun ends there but then the floor drops away and you’re presented with a third paddle so now you get to control the game on the X and Y axis to keep the Balltangle on the screen while dodging enemies. If you want to make things really interesting you can pick up bonuses that affect gravity or even paddle controls.

Game controls don’t get much simpler than this unless you’re playing Areas. Move the mouse to move your paddles and control Bob at the same time. Once things start to get frantic you’ll have to either let Bob get smacked around a little or drop the Balltangle. Word to the wise: Bob hurts less.

What really makes this game shine is the fact that you have four different modes and you unlock advanced modes by playing well in the more basic ones. This has a two-fold effect of getting you used to the controls and preparing you for tougher challenges by ramping up the gameplay incrementally. The author even lets you take a peek under the hood at the Actionscript once you’ve finished the challenges. Keep in mind that these unlocks are session specific so if you quit and come back your progress will not be saved.

So how does this game rate?

8/10. Pretty slick graphics for such a retro styled game.

8/10. Bounce that Balltangle! An excellent way to pass the time when you’re bored, but not for those who can’t multi-task.

7/10. Techno beats to get your groove on and complementary sound effects.

9/10. Though I make comparisons to Pong this game is unique in its own right and was well-executed.

9/10. This game is completely mouse driven. Heck, it’s even touchpad friendly so you can get your game on with your laptop if you so desire.

Overall I’d give this game 8/10. There’s a lot of replay value here and enough extras to make you want to give it just one more shot.

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