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'Pan-Pan' Review - An Open-World Puzzle Game with Whacking

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'Pan-Pan' Review - An Open-World Puzzle Game with Whacking 'Pan-Pan' Review - An Open-World Puzzle Game with Whacking

'Pan-Pan' Review - An Open-World Puzzle Game with Whacking

While the last open-world puzzle adventure I reviewed had the torches and pitchforks out for me, I do love the concept of like, a Metroidvania style puzzle-adventure. Take Pan-Pan [$3.99], a weird little game that has you crash-landing on a strange planet. The parts of your ship that can be used by your crew to repair your jalopy and get back into flying are scattered all about. So, you have to set out and discover just what's going on, solving weird puzzles along the way in an open world. It's a game that is rather charming, and can be a bit frustrating due to some design decisions, but it's a fun experience to check out.
In Pan-Pan, you start off with nothing. You can trigger switches, and pick up a few objects, but that's about it early on. The puzzles in Pan-Pan can be rather esoteric, and a big reason for that is because the game is very much centered around having zero speech whatsoever in the game. So, there's no text hints or dialogue to check to solve the puzzles. There are in-world hints, but because they've all been represented visually, you have to interpret them for yourself. And often, that's a challenge. At least localization was easy!
The developers had to do a bang-up job on figuring out how to get characterization out of just sound effects and animation. This game is rather charming, with lots of little animation touches and a gorgeous, vibrant landscape, that helps make this a world worth experiencing. Control-wise, I thought it was interesting to make this a portrait game, considering this was on PC (so walkthroughs do exist already!), but it makes sense for iPhone play in particular. It would be nice to have landscape on iPad, but it's not a dealbreaker. You tap to move to the designated spot, and topping objects picks them up or manipulates them in whatever available way. You can pinch to zoom, or use the magnifying glass option to zoom in. There's also a one-finger zoom option you can use. Overall, a solid mobile port. One puzzle solution that's frustrating to deal with is when you have to help get a robot from one place to another. You solve the puzzle, and get the robot up and boring through a wall. And then it's just kind of stuck there. The solution is to leave the area, and then come back when it has made its way through. Which, I guess if you just leave in frustration that you can't find the solution, and then return, is the solution in and of itself, but it is also rather annoying to deal with! Some of the puzzles make sense, but another, where you have to match colored blocks to a particular switch, and there's no obvious clue as to how to line them up. Experimentation, or peeking at walkthroughs, is the key. Or maybe zooming in really close. This game is brain-breaking for a long time.
Pan-Pan really starts to open up once you get the stick. Yeah, pretty much just a stick. But it gives you a new form of interaction with the world that at least makes any point where you might be stuck on a puzzle feel a bit more ...

Source of news: Touch Arcade
Source of publication: 18-03-2017 16:01
visto: 15

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