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Did you take a double take of this review’s title? (C64) What the hell is that? Well, that would be the Commodore 64, one of the greatest gaming PC’s of all time. And, thanks to a team of developers, Goin Sideways, we have a shiny new game to review for this classic gaming computer; Panic Analog 2011.
Panic Analog 2011 takes us all back to the hay day of 8-bit gaming by showcasing familiar 8-bit gaming graphics and game play that absolutely is playable in today’s gaming world. To begin, Panic Analog came in 3rd place in the 2011 RGCD 16KB Cartridge Game Development Contest out of eleven entries. It is a test of speed, skill and accuracy, a killer game play combination like so many of the earliest games created and not surprisingly a formula for quick pick up and play games on today’s handheld devices and in console digital download stores.
In Panic Analog your goal is to move your onscreen character, Red Head, back and forth across the cave’s floor using Analog paddle controllers; thus the name. Your goal is to stay alive by catching falling water drops from the caves ceiling in your open mouth down below. In addition to falling water drops you also have to keep your torch lit by catching falling fireballs. The trick is you have to switch between opening your mouth to catch the water and raising your torch over your head to catch the falling fire. If you make a mistake and swallow the fire, let the falling water put out your torch, or miss them altogether letting them hit the ground, you lose one life.
For those of you thinking, hey, this sounds a lot like the venerable KABOOM! then you would be correct. Just like Kaboom! where you spun your paddle controllers to catch the falling bombs in your buckets, Panic Analog has you frantically moving Red Head left and right catching either the water or fire as it falls from the cave’s ceiling. But that is where the similarity ends. Unlike Kaboom, which has you simply moving back and forth to catch the increasingly faster falling bombs, Panic Analog has you moving back and forth while at the same time switching between your open mouth and elevated torch to catch either the water or fire. You do this by pressing the paddle controller’s fire button. Needless to say, one wrong move like swallowing the fire or having the water out your torch takes a life. As in most games, it starts out easy enough dropping only water droplets. A few spins of the paddle and you clear stage one. No problem right? Not exactly! As you progress further through the game you are then faced with faster falling items as well as a mix of items falling randomly from the ceiling. Unlike Kaboom which presented you with the same patterns over and over again, Panic Analog does a great job of serving up a different game each time. There are no patterns to learn! For every 1000 points earned you are rewarded with an extra life. Panic Analog comes boxed with instructions and a sweet red cartridge that even lights up when plugged into your C64.
Panic Analog is a wonderful old school game and is a great reason to dust off your old C64 or find a new one online. To order your own copy of Panic Analog visit the developer’s website at http://www.redcrab.se/sideways.
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