Originally created in 1972 by Allan Alcorn, Pong is generally considered one of the first video games ever created. The classic game of electronic Ping Pong had players hit the ball back and forth trying to get the ball past their opponent. Being one of first video games ever created has lead to a lot of games being created over the years that have tried to capitalize on the original game’s popularity. Many of these games just outright copy the original game or slightly change the gameplay to try and expand upon the original game. I personally don’t have strong feelings about Pong as the game is fun in short doses, but gets repetitive pretty quickly. For this reason I generally stay away from Pong games unless they bring something original to the table. That is exactly why I am looking at Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000 as after seeing the trailer I knew it was a game that I had to try out. How could you not want to try out a Pong game that includes RPG elements as well as the ability to romance the other paddles? As a fan of all things weird I had to try out the game. Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000 is a refreshing and surprisingly funny take on Pong that while fun can get a little repetitive at times.
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Blue Wizard Digital for the review copy of Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000 used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.
In Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000 you play as a paddle competing in a tournament to become the ultimate paddle champion. Along the way you will grow your skills and maybe even learn a magic spell or two. Who knows what else you will encounter on your journey to becoming the ultimate paddle champion.
At its core Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000 is your basic game of Pong. You control a paddle and face off against another paddle controlled by the computer. You will hit the ball back and forth trying to get the ball past your opponent in order to score a point. The first player to score three points wins the match. If you win you move onto the next match. If you lose you die, but you can conveniently return and replay the match to continue your journey.
Where Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000 begins to differentiate itself from Pong is what happens after you win a match. It just so happens that the game includes a RPG mechanic. After each match you win you will get to choose from one of a couple different rewards. Most of these rewards involve increasing various stats. You can increase stats like your speed, power, height, and width which are obvious upgrades for a Pong game. Then there is the less obvious stat of health. Your paddle has hit points which are lost each time it hits the ball. When your paddle loses its last hit point it is destroyed and removed from the screen until another point is scored.
At this point the game is still pretty normal compared to your typical Pong game. This brings me to the addition of magic. As you progress through the game you will unlock various spells that you can choose to use. These use your paddle’s MP and gives you various abilities to help you score easier. The first spell you unlock is a fireball which you can shoot at the ball to change its trajectory or hit your opponent to deal damage to them. As you progress through the game you will unlock other abilities which include healing your own paddle, applying effects to the ball which impacts your opponent when it hits their paddle, and other effects that manipulate the gameplay. In addition to your normal Pong skills these additional magic spells can be used to get an advantage over your opponent.
Finally we come to the mechanics where Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000 gets ridiculous. First you can find various clothing items that you can equip to your paddle. Outside of a cosmetic change these provide no benefit. You can also acquire various companion creatures that you can ride. Probably the weirdest mechanic in the game though is the romance mechanic. You didn’t think there was ever going to be a Pong romance game did you? Well for some reason it exists. After a while you will acquire enough charisma and other skills needed to start talking to the various boss paddles that you face off against. This basically involves choosing one of a couple dialog options which depends on the levels of your stats. This allows you to get to know one another and a romance may bloom in your couple sentence long conversation. Or you could just make them angrier. No matter the outcome you are still a paddle so your job is to destroy them and move onto your next opponent, another potential romantic interest.
As Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000 is basically the weirdest game of Pong ever created, I had fun with the game. I will say that for the most part the game is Pong. Most of the gameplay involves just hitting the ball back and forth trying to get it past your opponent. For this reason I will say that to truly appreciate the game you need to really enjoy playing Pong. While I think Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000 improves upon Pong with all of its wacky additions, it is still Pong at its core. People who don’t like Pong probably won’t like the game. I had fun with the game, but if the Pong mechanics were all that there was to the game it would have become boring kind of quickly.
The one change to the gameplay that really makes the game is the addition of magic spells and hit points. While your use of magic will be limited at the beginning of the game you will eventually reach a point where you can use a bunch of different spells and use them regularly. These add a really interesting dynamic to the game. While hitting the ball well still matters, using your abilities at the right times can be just as important. There are a couple of different ways that you can use your special abilities. First you can use your abilities to impact the trajectory of the ball or how you or your opponent react to it. I already mentioned that you can hit the ball with your fireball to change its current direction. You will also eventually unlock abilities that slow down time, increase the size of your own paddle, slow down/stop your opponent’s paddle, and other abilities. Using these abilities properly will make it much easier to get the ball past your opponent.
The other way to use your abilities is to just destroy the other paddle. Each normal hit of the ball will do damage to you and your opponent’s paddle. You will end up unlocking quite a few abilities that will deal considerably more damage to the opponent’s paddle than a normal hit though. Causing damage to your opponent is a good strategy as once it is destroyed you are guaranteed a free point as long as you don’t mess up. My strategy was pretty much to try to inflict damage throughout the match which would allow me to get a free point later on. At the same time you need to keep track of your own health so your own paddle doesn’t get destroyed.
At first I didn’t think the magic spells were going to have a big impact on the gameplay, but they feel like the perfect addition to the traditional Pong gameplay. They keep the gameplay fresh and give you something else to do other than just hitting the ball back and forth.
While I liked the addition of the magic spells I think the best part of Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000 is actually the story and humor. When you think of a Pong game you don’t expect it to even have a story and if it does it is very basic. Well in Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000 it turns out to be one of the game’s best selling points. The game doesn’t really have a traditional overarching story. The story comes from the enemies you face and defeat. Each enemy you face in the game will have its own unique name and you will eventually unlock a description of each opponent. These descriptions are basically jokes explaining the name of the paddle. Some of these jokes can be pretty bad, but I found a lot of them to be genuinely funny. After you beat an opponent you will get a reaction from your paddle which usually involves commenting on an opponent you recently beat or the tangential thoughts that your paddle has from time to time. Along with the romantic mechanics these little snippets of story are genuinely funny and brought a smile to my face.
I knew that Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000 was trying to be a funny game (why else would you add a romance mechanic to a Pong game), but I was honestly surprised that the game was funnier than I was expecting. I will admit that the humor will not appeal to everyone. Some people are going to find the game to be kind of dumb. A lot of the jokes are kind of “stupid funny”, but I laughed more than I expected. The writing in the game is genuinely pretty clever. A lot more work was put into this aspect of the game than I was expecting. The game features a ton of different enemies and each one is its own little joke. When the gameplay got a little repetitive I wanted to keep playing the game just to see the next witty comment.
Speaking of repetition though all of Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000’s additions haven’t fixed the biggest problem with Pong. Unfortunately just like Pong, Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000 becomes a little repetitive after a while. The addition of the magic spells and the humor make this a little better, but it is still an issue for the game. Outside of using the magic spells you are just hitting the ball back and forth. After a while this can become pretty repetitive. Maybe it is just me but I can’t play Pong for hours at a time. Therefore Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000 is the type of game that you will want to play in shorter doses and then come back to on another day.
Along with Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000 becoming kind of repetitive it also becomes kind of easy after a while. The early game feels a little grindy as you acquire skill points to improve your paddle. I wouldn’t consider the early game to be particularly difficult. You will win a large majority of the matches, but you may lose a match here or there. Losing a match has no punishment as you can return to the game where you left off. As you continue to improve your paddle though it becomes easier and easier to win matches. This is especially true when you start to unlock some of the more powerful spells which makes it really easy to score goals. You eventually reach a point where it is almost impossible to lose as long as you aren’t careless. I eventually reached the point where I had to lose on purpose just to get back to the menu so I could quit the game. I think the game needs to be tweaked some so it is not quite so easy.
As for the length I can’t really give you a definitive number. This is partially because I am not entirely sure if there is an end to the game. I am guessing that there is technically an end to the game, but it also feel like the levels are mostly procedurally generated. Every five levels you will face a boss fight which seems to be scripted. Between the boss fights though you are given random opponents to face. There are quite a few different opponents, but I have started to see duplicates. At this point I have won over 100 matches, and yet it doesn’t seem like I am anywhere near the end of the game. Therefore I have a feeling that Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000 is the type of game that you will get as much enjoyment out of it as you want. People who really enjoy the gameplay could get a lot of time out of the game.
Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000 is quite possibly the weirdest Pong-like game ever created. At its core the game is just like Pong as the objective is to hit the ball past your opponent’s paddle. The game adds quite a few other mechanics to the game as well though. The main additions are the RPG mechanics which add upgrades to your paddle as well as health and magic. These are interesting additions to the game as they give you additional ways to target your opponent in order to score points. The weirdest mechanic by far though is the addition of a romance mechanic. The ability to romance the other paddles basically just adds humor to the game. I thought the game could be kind of funny based on how silly it was, but I was genuinely surprised that the game was funnier than I was expected. Like Pong though Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000 gets kind of repetitive after a while making it the type of game that is better in shorter doses. The game also becomes kind of easy after a while where you have to really mess up in order to lose a match. Ultimately Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000 is a fun spoof on traditional Pong even if it has some issues.
If you have never really cared for Pong the addition of the other mechanics is not going to change your mind. Fans of Pong and silly games in general should have fun with Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000 though. If the game’s concept interests you I think you should consider picking up Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000.
Buy Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000: Steam