Atari's Forgotten Arcade Classics

As Atari turns 45 this month, a look at 10 of its little-known coin-op games from the early 1970s

Pin Pong

Pin Pong

Of all the early forgotten Atari arcade games, Pin Pong – note the lack of a "G" on the first word – is one of the most novel. The game has nothing to do with Ping-Pong, the tennis-like game with paddles. Instead, Pin Pong was very likely the first "video pinball" game ever created, utilizing a CRT video screen under a pinball-field-shaped overlay. The ball, flippers, and score were electronically generated, and as players launched the ball, it would "bounce" off of the overlay elements as if they were part of the game world. Pin Pong represented a fascinating innovation, but real pinball machines were very popular at the time, and they easily overshadowed Atari's offering in any arcade.

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