A Clone of the 1972 Atari Game ´Pong´

Anybody remembers the Atari Pong game from 1972? Apparently, when the game came out it was a big success for Atari and people wondered how „the TV program knew where to draw the lines and the ball“.

I created a clone of this game written entirely in Basic V2 for the Commodore C64/128. The difference is that I created a single-user version, as the original game required two players joining at the coffee table or upright cabinet.

In the beginning, these games where placed in smokey bars to attract customers. The problem nowadays with us computer nerds is that we are not hanging out at bars and we do not have friends to play the game with, hence the single-user version 😉

If interested, please take a look at my GitHub repository for the source code and readme file.

The Basic code is rather compact and fast enough to create a playable game. I made it not too difficult so that even young kids can play it. By accident, the sound of the bouncing ball is relatively close the the „pong“ sound Commodore created on the Commodore 64 Program Pack disk from 1983.


In text mode, the computer draws the border and the ball at its first position. Randomly the computer moves the ball in its first direction. Contact with the border will bounce the ball and change its direction, same when contacting the paddle. Every bounce will create a short sound. If the ball reaches the left (open) border, the player has lost and can choose to restart the game or quit.
The paddle is a simple sprite that changes its y position by pressing the joystick up and down.

As in the original Atari version, the sprite can move into the border. I left this bug in on purpose. Also, the color of my screen differs from Atari´s version. The color used is called „light blue“ by Commodore. Colors on the C64 are a mystery to me.


It might spice up the game a bit if with every lost game the right border moves a little closer, thereby shortening the movement of the ball. Like invader space ships moving down towards the player.

2 Antworten auf &‌#8222;A Clone of the 1972 Atari Game ´Pong´&‌#8220;

  1. Hi Dario, Well, if you call above color „light blue“, then we might have a different perception of colors 🙂 Red is not red, brown is not brown. I guess it has something to do with how the VIC chip creates these colors. I have to do more reading to better understand this. Have a nice day, Jan

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