Another video action favorite!

Quadrapong was the last of the Atari branded Pong games, although many other companies continued to produce Pong-Clones right up until Space Invaders made everyone forget about balls and paddles for a while. The Pong phenomena began of course with the original Pong in 1972, within a year there were dozens of clones like Pong Tron and Computer Space Ball. Atari quickly added Pong Doubles to their lineup, which was an upright 4-Player version of the original. Soon after came the aborted Puppy Pong. By 1974 Atari was facing a lot of competition in the ball and paddle arena, there were already about 50 different ball and paddle games on the market, and many of them were better than Atari's quickly aging Pong and Pong Doubles. So they decided to one up everybody by producing a four player version that didn't require the players to all squeeze together in front of a tiny machine.

A beeping sound simulates its rebounds and adds to the overall excitement.

Now we all know that you have to avoid missing ball for high score when playing Pong, but it is a lot more fun when you are playing knockout style with 3 other people. Each player defended a goal, and was allowed to miss the ball four times before being eliminated. The game kept track of each players lives in the corner with a little icon for each live you have remaining. After missing four times, you goal will close, and you are no longer in the game. This definitely made for some exciting early 70s gaming.

It looked remarkably similar to this!
                         
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Quadrapong like its forerunners Pong and Gotcha features all solid state computer tested with Atari's unique Durastress® process.

This was the first widely released cocktail style arcade game. It was only available in an small table format that had a surface area of around 2 feet by 3 feet. Their were control panels on either end, each of which had an analog spinner control located at each corner. The surface of the control panel smoothly arched up slightly, meeting a piece of curved plexiglass that covered the monitor, and then that plexiglass met the other control panel. So basically the surface of the game was not flat, but was a mild arch instead, probably to keep people from setting their drinks on the game. Almost every other cocktail arcade game ever made had a flat surface, so this one is rather unique in that aspect. The side of the machine was all white, and featured sideart that advertised "QUADRA PONG" in a "futuristic" font. This was also a bit off, since cocktail tables almost never have sideart.

Inside the game lived a standard black and white television that was installed at a 45 degree angle to the sides of the machine, so each player had a corner facing directly at her. It looked sort of like a diamond inside a rectangle. The game ran on a single printed circuit board that had no RAM, no ROM, and no processors to be found anywhere.

Fast profit maker!

This is a great title, and would make a good addition to any game room. But the only catch is that the original Pong titles from Atari sell for far more money than the various clones do. If you are just buying so you can play, then I suggest you get one of the many available clones instead, and save the extra money in case you ever need to make any repairs.

All quotes are from a 1974 Quadrapong promotional flyer.

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