Appolicious powers Verizon Educational Tools

World Cup Table Tennis bounces into the Android Market

by Ian Black

Yes, you can make a cool ping-pong app for Android! I didn’t know that before experiencing Skywork's World Cup Table Tennis, but the app is fun and convincingly realistic in the physics of the table, ball and paddle. Try it for free in the Android Market and decide for yourself whether or not to upgrade to the full version.

You view the table from the perspective of a player at one end. Neither your body nor your opponent’s is visible, only your paddles, which appear to float in the air as if by magic. The free version lets you play in Tournament mode where you square off against other countries in an international competition. If you win, you move up in the tournament but if you lose, you’re out.

The gameplay works beautifully. In many ways, it felt like playing real table tennis, a game I love. You control your paddle with one finger – I used my right thumb – by dragging the paddle to meet the bouncing ball and then flinging your finger to make contact and give the ball some spin. If you’re used to putting spin on a ping-pong ball, as opposed to the basic backyard game of hitting it back over the net with no spin, you’ll be amazed at how realistic the ball movement looks. Because of the realism, real table tennis strategy, like moving your opponent from one corner to another, works effectively in this game. You even hear the familiar knock of the balls against the paddle and the table.

Buying the full version provides access to more paddles as only two come for free. Each offers a different profile for power and/or spin. Plus, you get an arcade mode with extra bonuses and a head-to-head multiplayer mode that lets you play someone else in real-time on one device.