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Nintendo Switch Game Review

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Pang Adventures
Buster Edition

Format: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Meridiem Games / Dotemu
Developer: Pasta Games
Age Restrictions: 3+
Release Date: 29 January 2021

Pang Adventures, on the Switch, is an update of a game which goes all the way back to a 1989 arcade game, which itself was derivative of an MSX 1983 game. The game has gone through many iterations and changes of name, propagating itself across multiple platforms, but both the goal and the general layout have remained surprisingly similar...

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Fire your harpoon into the air to break the balloons.

In Pang Adventures: Buster Edition you play one of two brothers, the other brother is there should you wish to play in co-op mode. Your planet has been invaded by bouncing and floating aliens. Your job is to run along the bottom of the screen, trying to destroy whatever is above you.

This may sound a bit vague, but every level has something different for you to engage with, from the initial bouncing balloons, to the boss battles at the end of every section of fifteen fights. Each level starts fairly simple, your character runs around the bottom of the screen and fires a harpoon into the air to break the balloons. If they hit you, you die. Each balloon will break into smaller balloons, so depending on you gameplay style you can either go for one balloon at a time or just bust anything you can. The latter approach will end up with you having to deal with multiple objects with multiple trajectories. This can become quite frantic.

This, in and of itself, would become boring quite quickly, so as you progress the game adds barriers, some breakable, some not. It also adds different things for you to shoot at and there is no limit on your ammunition, but there are some limits as to how long you can hold an individual object.

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Play in single player or co-op mode.

To aid your progress a number of power-ups become available from a rapid fire gun, flame thrower, a shield and a sand timer which freezes all the balloons in place, giving you a chance in particularly difficult moments.

In co-op mode you also receive the ability to revive your partner, but you need to be careful, as this is not instantaneous and may see you getting knocked out for standing in the same place for too long. The game also provides various food stuffs which drop and add to your overall score.

The game comes with a number of game modes. The Tour Mode is the campaign where you are tasked to travel to differing point on the globe to confront more aliens.

Each level is on a timer, not really an issue at the beginning, but when the game starts throwing in breakable and non-breakable platforms, which change the way the balloons behave, as well as creatures and worst of all when the actual environment conspires against you, then you’re in for a real challenge.

Each level has a score associated with it. As well as simply playing the game, this adds another level of challenge as you need a perfect score to hit that environment's level. The only time this changes is in local co-op mode. As there are two of you the score challenge is increased. The game also has two further game modes. Score Mode unlocks after the Tour and Panic Mode, which is a three life open ended survival experience. The game has an online leader board.

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Engage in different Boss fights..

The controls are intuitive, but then there are only a small number of things which your character can do. The hand drawn, cartoon aesthetic to the game's visuals are pleasing to the eye. The backgrounds use a variety of techniques, but there is nothing surprising about the images used for each region. The music is ok, and wasn't grating enough to make me want to turn it off.

Overall, this is an updated version of a game which has been knocking around for donkey’s years, depending on the age of the player. On the plus side, the team have put in some nice additions and the game is cheap. The idea of the online leader board and the level scores are what is going to give the game its replay value.


Charles Packer

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