Sarge the space invaders are attacking!
No sir we have no high-powered Mac cannon to fire, no.
No sir the nukes are in for repair, and not available until next week.
No sir, we haven’t got any interceptors to launch.
Oh, we could throw ourselves at the space invaders Sarge.
Men form two launching lines! Lets kick these space invaders out of Harzian space!
PonPonPanic is a blend of the classic space invaders gameplay, and new touch flick controls. You have Harzians hurling themselves across the screen, and by tapping them you get them to fly upwards. After three taps the Harzian makes a space leap, and can kill any space invader in its path. You can also blend Harzians into larger units able to do more damage to the evil forces. The controls work quite well, and as it gets more and more intense it gets harder not to loose a Harzian down the middle of the screen. Apparently launching them headfirst into space isn’t hurtful, but loosing them down towards the planet spells death. I guess it is all a matter of pride. The Harzians have a lot in common with suicide bombers in that regard.
PonPonPanic is a high score game. The game over screen shows up when the lives are down to zero. The game still has a sense of progression using a level progression structure. Bosses, obstacles and other aspects of games I associate with progression. Sadly the game kicks me back to the start once the lives are up. This is true old school gaming, but I would rather be able to continue with the score back at zero. The high score is also accompanied by a ranking, and some of them are quite fun.
The presentation is bright and colorful, with a definite Japanese flair to the artwork. Explosion effects are done like small kaleidoscopes of color. The Harzians themselves feel less inspired in my opinion. I have seen one-eyed round creatures many times prior to the Harzians.
The music as happy as annoying in true video game from the East fashion. For shorter sessions it works quite well though. I can’t get any sound effects from the game no matter if they are switched on or off. Furthermore I can’t play my own music.
Only a local leader board available that doesn’t even come with the ability to enter initials. No achievements or unlockables to be found. The lack of content and game modes really hurt PonPonPanic. At the price asked I can’t really recommend it even though it offers some quite fun one handed gameplay.