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Growing up during the late eighties / early nineties there were three arcade games that I used to play at my local leisure centre every weekend. Toki, Michael Jackson’s Moon-walker and Pang. I’m kind of in my element right now. Toki has just been re-released which I am going to treat myself to, as I used to love that game, and now Pang. Pang Adventures is a re-imagined vision of the original game brought back to life on current-gen consoles. Although the premise is the same the game has received a number of welcomed upgrades in how it looks and importantly how it plays.
You play as one of the Pang Brothers who travels around the world saving it from Aliens that for some reason drop bubbles. The aim of the game is to pop all the bubbles with your grappling hook and cable. That is the entire story, I mean its based on an eighties game that wasn’t well known for its story. After each area you end up with a boss fight, the Boss for some reason throws bubbles out of their body that you again have to pop. You get the basic idea of the game!
The gameplay is very simple and doesn’t ask you to do much other than what is described above, one of the reasons I am so happy about this game coming out again is simply that the original was great fun. Pang excelled at making you think about every move before you even made it. This was mainly due to the fact that when you fired off the grappling hook and cable it only allowed for one to be onscreen at any time, so strategy was vital. Once a bubble is popped it splits off into smaller bubbles like a chain reaction. The smaller bubbles move faster and you must avoid any sort of contact with them. New power-ups can be collected which is an addition to this version, most are limited but add more power to the original hook and cable. As much as I wanted to hate any changes I actually really enjoyed the game. This is a perfect travelling game where you can bash through a couple of levels and then bounce off the game. It’s always great fun while doing it.
The adventure mode is fun and keeps you enthralled throughout the game. The best mode is Panic mode, 99 levels of straight bubble bursting chaos. You get the power-ups still and just have to survive through waves of enemies while protecting plinths that pop up randomly. There is also a score mode in which you get three lives and have to get the best score possible. Playing with a friend, no problem as Pang Adventures supports a two-player simultaneous mode.
There’s a lot of love these kinds of silly retro puzzle/action games. They are fun time wasters and work perfectly played in short bursts. Daily I have quite a few bus journeys so something like Pang Adventures is ideal. Overall I give the game 7/10, it’s a low priced game and knows exactly what it is. For nostalgic people who played the original, I think they will enjoy it immensely.