May 25, 2024
Paddle vs Paddle Review

Developer: Endice Software
Publisher: Endice Software
Release Date: May 30th – PS4 (reviewed)

Imagine the scene, its a dark and smokey arcade from the 80’s, the doors have closed for the night and the last of the children have let. The owner goes home, and  the place is deserted. What happens? Well it’s time for the arcade machines to party of course. Pong, Arkanoid and some old slut of a pinball machine decided to smoke dope, get drunk and have a bit of an orgy and some 30 odd years later (that’s how long it takes don’t you know) their chid was born and it they called it Paddle vs Paddle.

I do apologise for the vulgarity of that introduction but there is no other way to describe Paddle vs Paddle. It’ is a hybrid of all three of those games.

Essentially what you have is a neon drenched paddle and a bouncing ball at first site it feels like Pong, but then you notice that you can twist your paddle angle the paddle. Essentially turning it into a pinball flipper, along with the flipper there are other similarities to pinball, like those horrible side channels you find either side of a pinball machine catch your eye, a menace to watch out for.

It’s while playing you then notice that your paddle  can collect powers ups just like you would find in Arkanoid. but you can also get power downs and penalties that make the game harder. The trouble is you don’t know what it is you’re collecting, It’s all so manic at times you can’t pick or choose your bonuses, instead you blink and the next think you know your paddle has shrunk in size and there are multiple balls bouncing around the level.

However it really is such a simple game, there are a few additional features to separate P vsP  from the classics mentioned.  For starters the paddle is kind of wedged in the middle of two horns which he ball can bounce off at all kinds of crazy angles so you’re not just floating the full width of the screen. Srangely though the paddle always  springs back to the centre of its area unlike pong or Arkanoid where you move your paddle and stay moved as it were. This takes a while to get used to.

So, It sounds simple enough but it’s too fast paced and hectic and to be honest you’re not really sure what you’re doing. When you first start the game there are no instructions telling you how to play the game (only a control screen), it’s just balls balls balls everywhere from the off. Some icons and numbers flash up on the screen you don’t know what they are, some power-ups flash up and you don’t know what they are either. Because you have to keep your eyes glued to the paddle at all times. It’s especially bad when the multi-ball power up (or down depending how you look at it) takes effect.

Then you have those annoying AF side channels where the ball can be lost through not fault of your own. One gameI played all three balls got lost down these channels without me touching a single thing. I can understand them in pinball tables as the vendor wants you to put more money in the machine. But there is absolutey no reason to have them in this game. It kinds of spoils the fun.

There are  a few modes to try; 1 player, 1v1 and 2v2, all via local mulitplayer. There is no online component which is a shame as it would have been a great addition

I finally figured out the The idea of the single player game via trial and error. The idea is to get your ball to hit numbered tokens that appear at random which you have to try to hit in the right order. Get enough of these tokens and you progress to the next level. I say next level but it’s really just a change of background colour and a few more deflector blocks placed in the level. So it’s literally one solitary level for lone players and that gets boring pretty quick,

You can have two player matches so you can battle it out against a friend or you can team up and have two on two for four player fun. Both modes offer a first-to-10 match or a timed match. Arguably multiplayer  is the best thing about Paddle vs Paddle.  The four paddles line up at the bottom of the screen, and it’s up to you and your pal to score more points than the other team.

As far as multiplayer goes its as simple as it gets, a return to simple arcade fisticuffs. And it works for the better thanks to not over complicating things. Those wretched side channels are gone in multiplayer so thankfully  it’s an all out battle to the death. Power-ups also come into play in the multiplayer game, along with some extra obstacles and penalties to help mix things up.  There really is only one way to enjoy Paddle vs Paddle and that’s with friends.

PvP is not going to set the world on fire, but it’s an adequate and at times fun multiplayer game if you’re looking for a quick blast. The single player could have been just as fun but the dead zones which you have no control of completely ruin the fun. I also found some bugs too, like balls getting stuck in the scenery, slipping between the tiny gap between the paddle and the ‘horns’ when it shouldn’t.

I’m sure younger people who have the reflexes of a cat playing slap base in a wind tunnel could probably enjoy the single player mode, but for me, the manic nature and the stupid way you can lose the ball through no fault of your own waters down the single player experience, but thankfully the multiplayer more than makes up for it .

Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were supplied a review code from the publisher. For more information on how we review and score games, please see out review policy.

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