qomp2 review

by on February 22, 2024
Release Date

February 20, 2024


Back in those arcade days, video games didn’t really have stories or fleshed-out characters to worry about. Nobody was theorising about what Jumpman got up to when Donkey Kong wasn’t kidnapping princesses, or if Pac Man and Ms. Pac Man had a healthy relationship at home. It was a simpler time, but still, the characters from that era are still near and dear to many of our hearts. Today it’s time to think back to one of the very earliest gaming “characters” thanks to qomp2, and that’s the ball from Pong.

Trapped in an endless back and forth between two paddles, the square ball from Pong has such a meaningless existence that you probably don’t even think of it as a character. Well, that’s all about to change, because thanks to the power to change direction and boost, the Pong ball can escape its tennis-based prison and go adventuring on its own. That’s basically the concept of qomp2, but really it’s just a charming excuse to guide a white dot around some mazes.

Although it has slightly more autonomy than it did back in the arcade days, the pong ball only has two things you can control when playing qomp2. One button changes the direction of the ball from diagonally upwards to diagonally downwards or vice versa, and the other charges a boost which can be unleashed at any time for a burst of speed. That’s all there is to this game though. You can’t move about with an analogue stick or anything fancy like that, you just have to make do with two buttons.

Because of these limitations, you’ll immediately work out that there are some tricks to getting around the various maze-like stages of the game. For example, the only way to turn around is to bounce off a wall, and to maneuver in a straight horizontal line you’ll have to continuously press the X button to change direction so you can move in a tight little zigzag. This limiting way of getting around is fine when there are no threats you need to navigate, but that doesn’t last long.

In the early stages, you’ll be expected to find safe routes around spiked walls or moving circular blades, which as you might expect is easier said than done. Planning how you can get around safely with your limited move set is the name of the game in qomp2, with later levels almost feeling more like logic puzzles than twitchy arcade challenges.

Across the thirty stages of qomp2, there’s no shortage of creative obstacles for you to overcome. The early maze-like levels feature simple locked doors that require keys to open and walls that can only be bounced off once before revealing spikes behind them. Later on though there are required items that force your ball to leave a trail like in the Nokia favourite snake and switches that rotate crucial parts of the stage. Every level you enter has something new for you to take on, and it makes playing through the game a delight.

Not content with only challenging you with spikes and locked doors, qomp2 also contains a whole load of stages that change the way you control the Pong ball entirely. Water levels require you to hold X to sink and release it to float up, and other stages include zones where switching direction or boosting is prevented entirely. Getting to the end of these stages is no cakewalk, especially if you’re looking for secrets.

Every stage of qomp2 contains a hidden collectible that’s either in a particularly nightmarish and dangerous corner or hidden entirely by some sort of blocked path you need to return to later. For the most part, I enjoyed finding all these little doodads, although occasionally they just require you to travel back through a stage you’ve already proven you can navigate and it’s a little dull. There are also hidden exits in a few levels that lead to stages you can’t otherwise play, so look out for any suspicious walls that might crumble with a bounce or two.

qomp2 is a simple game, but one packed with creativity that I really struggled to put down. The variety of obstacles and mechanics jam-packed into this 3-4 hour game is really impressive, and fans of all things old school will have a blast bouncing around everything qomp2 throws at them.


Simple but engaging gameplay
Each stage throws something new and interesting at you
Has some seriously cool retro vibes
Contains a nice amount of hidden collectibles


Having to backtrack for some collectables is a pain
Ends maybe a little too soon

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

qomp2 is a delightful retro romp that answers all the questions you ever had about the Pong ball, and is packed full of creative mechanics.