Undoubtedly targeting families and gamers on the milder end of the spectrum, Paddles is roughly enhanced Pong
Time to really date myself here! Though I was at least a bit too young to really appreciate the sensation that was Pong when it first made the rounds in the arcade and at home, my family did have a Pong unit so I played a bit of it in my early years. I can’t say I’ve ever been a huge fan of it due to its overall simplicity (even at the time), but I can appreciate both its value in game history and as a means of simplifying gaming to a point where literally anyone can play it. Now, countless years later Paddles is returning to that general well with its up to 4-player and very family-oriented take on that classic that appropriately tries to throw as much as possible into the mix to make it feel as fresh as it can. A variety of stages that present their own challenges as well as special balls that behave different do help to spice up the very vanilla base formula, but no matter how much you dress it up there’s still no mistaking that at the end of the day it’s still a Pong game and that it likely has more of a niche feel than most. That said, in execution I really can’t fault it, the controls are simple and work accurately, the new stages and balls do effectively keep things as interesting as they can be, and playing 4 people at once does make for some limited fun even for jaded experienced gamers. Not groundbreaking (I don’t know if there’s any possible way it could be), but for the right and more casual group of gamers it would probably be a great fit.
Justin Nation, Score: