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Game Info:

Pang Adventures
Developed by: DotEmu
Published by: DotEmu
Release Date: April 19, 2016
Available on: Android, iOS, PC, PS4, Xbox One
Genre: Arcade
Number of players: Up to two players
ESRB Rating: Everyone with mild fantasy violence and blood
Price: $9.99

Thank you DotEmu for sending us this game to review!

Pang (also known as Buster Bros.) was originally released in 1989 by Capcom.  Since its inception it has supported two-player co-op gameplay. Pang Adventures has modernized this classic and is introducing it to a new generation of gamers.

Aliens are invading the world and thousands of menacing balls are falling from the sky.  The world needs the help of the Pang brothers to repel the attack and send these aliens back home packing.  Shooting down big bubbles doesn’t sound too challenging, but each time a bubble is hit, it splits in half a couple of times.  To complicate matters further, getting touched by a bubble results is losing a life and in the Tour game mode, that means it’s game over unless you have a friend alongside of you who can revive you.

There are three game modes: Tour, Score Attack, and Panic.  The Tour mode is the story campaign where the Pang brothers are summoned to save the world from the alien invasion.  You only get one life in the Tour mode, but you can resume where you left off.  After the Tour mode is completed, Score Attack is unlocked.  Score Attack is the true arcade experience where you have to save the world with only three lives and no continues.  Last but not least, there’s the Panic mode where you have three lives and play continuously through ninety-nine levels that get increasingly harder.  As you protect totems from the waves of bubbles you’ll unlock power-ups and can earn more lives.

Pang Adventures
Highlights:

Strong Points: Fun and challenging gameplay for one or two players
Weak Points: Clunky interface that requires both keyboard and controller input; nobody online to play against
Moral Warnings: You're battling against aliens and will have to shoot the bosses in the eyes to take them down

Some of the power-ups available in all of the game modes include better weapons like flamethrowers and machines guns instead of the default harpoon style gun.  While the machine gun is great, the ammo is limited so you’ll have to pay attention to how much you have left and perfect your aim.  Another handy power-up is the hourglass which freezes all of the bubbles in their place for a short amount of time.  The shield is another useful item to have equipped because while it’s enabled you can survive being touched by a bubble or alien boss.

Most of the time you’ll be fending off colorful bubbles but there are some alien bosses that will try to stop you from repelling their attack.  The bosses will usually have a vulnerable spot on their body like a bubble on their arm that has to be hit a few times before their big eye becomes the next target.    Thankfully, when you’re attacking their arms or their eyes, the violence is cartoon like and not bloody or gory.

Pang Adventures
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 80%
Gameplay - 16/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 90%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

The graphics are colorful and the backdrops change as you explore different parts of the world or progress in the Panic Attack mode.  The default Pang brother in the red hat reminded my kids of Ash from Pokemon.  My children enjoyed playing this game cooperatively and while there’s an option to play against people online, I was not able to find anyone to play against.

When first launching the game I ran into some technical glitches.  The default resolution it picked for my 2560x1440 resolution monitor was cut off and I could not access the buttons to accept or change any of the settings.  After some poking around I was able to get the game to launch in a smaller resolution windowed so I could then change it back to my native resolution at full screen.  The only other issue worth mentioning is that setting up local multiplayer games involved using both the keyboard and controller.  To add a second player, I had to press F2 even though two fully recognized Xbox 360 controllers are plugged in.  

Despite some technical issues and nobody to play online against, my experience with Pang Adventures has been a positive one.  The $9.99 asking price is reasonable, but I only recommend getting it if you have people nearby or on your Steam friend list to play with.  It’s a cute game that’s suitable for gamers of all ages as long as you don’t mind shooting bubbles or aliens in their eyes.

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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