Digital Beer Pong
Super Ping Pong Trick Shot is not your average ping pong game. In fact, it has nothing to do with table tennis. It shares more similarities with the frat party pastime beer pong…except without the drinks.
Here is the Video Review for your viewing pleasure!
The rules are as basic as it gets: toss a ball into a cup. Rinse and repeat for 80 levels. Thankfully, the physics are well implemented. The ball travels and bounces how you would expect. Accurately throwing the ball is a challenge of getting the speed and angle just right. After adjusting the angle, you time the ball’s speed using an on-screen meter. Like in a golf simulator, it can be tough to hit the right timing, but it’s nonetheless an effective way to judge the ball’s path. If you miss the cup (and you will, often), it’s easy to slightly adjust your trajectory for next time.
Alternatively, you can use the Nintendo Switch’s touch screen or gyro motion using the Joy-Con controllers. Though neither is as intuitive as it should be. With touch controls, you fling the ball using a sling shot motion as you would in Angry Birds. However, the touch screen isn’t 1:1 responsive, and it’s near impossible to determine how fast and far your ball will fly. Motion controls don’t fare much better. When I tried flicking the ball using the Joy-Con, it would either fall immediately or fly at maximum power. It was also difficult to estimate the angle of the throw when using the default side view. You can change the camera angle to adopt a pseudo first-person perspective, but it sometimes ends up blocking crucial elements like the cup itself. While I appreciate the attempts at immersion, it was awkward and unnecessarily difficult to accurately throw the ball.
The game’s biggest downfall is how little it offers. Throwing a ball into a cup just doesn’t hold up after a half hour or so. The game makes attempts to change it up with its level design, at least. Though the first level only features a straight platform and cup, later ones change the layout, adding obstacles such as moving platforms, wind-blowing fans, and metal floors. Some areas even feature warps that teleport the ball around. The obstacles offered the most interesting variety, but it’s a shame that there are only seven unique ones. You can only do so much with the same elements before stages begin to blend together. Still, some of the more creative layouts forced me to think about the most efficient throws. And it was always satisfying to get a good trick shot off of the walls straight into the cup. It’s an experience reminiscent of miniature golf.
Once you get going, the game moves fairly quickly. In most stages, you only need to get one ball in the cup to proceed to the next challenge. If you want, you can skip around, though you get nothing special for beating the last level. The whole experience lasts about two hours, assuming you don’t grow bored before then. For replay value, there are three sub-missions per level that you can attempt, such as getting the ball into the cup without letting it bounce or having it bounce off a wall twice. But as with the stage design, these mini-missions grew tiresome quickly, and I had little desire to go back once I completed a level.
Two additional modes round out the package. A score attack mode tests your ability to make consecutive shots into the cup. It’s somewhat fun to attempt high scores, but 15 balls per level is quite limiting. A time limit might have been more engaging for this mode. On the other end, there is a local two player vs. mode, in which you and a friend compete to get more balls in the same cup. There are three power-ups that you can activate to mess with your opponent. It’s a nice diversion, but with only ten arenas, there’s just too little here to keep you entertained.
The presentation is as no-frills as it gets. The basic geometric visuals do the bare minimum displaying what they need to. For example, wind is designated by moving blue circles. It cheapens the experience, but then again, this is a game about throwing balls into cups. The synthesized music is bland, and since the same songs play throughout, it easily becomes annoying.
As far as beer pong games go, Super Ping Pong Trick Shot isn’t too bad. There were clear efforts to make an immersive game, as seen with the gyro controls. Had they been more refined, it could have been more fun in a party setting. The obstacles gave the game a miniature golf feel, which I liked. However, the levels, overall, felt too similar, due to the limited layouts and obstacle combinations. The game needed at least a dozen more interesting design hooks. This game is cheap, but it’s still hard to recommend this simple ball tossing simulator. You’re better off playing with real balls and cups, and…I’ll let you fill in the blanks.
A review copy was provided for this article.