The Micro User


Panik

Author: Rog Frost
Publisher: Atlantis
Machine: BBC/Electron

 
Published in The Micro User 5.08

Back in the year dot, Acornsoft brought out a game called Monsters. It was a ladders and levels game in which the aim was to make the screen hero dig holes in the levels so that the chasing monsters could fall in and be buried. This is the game that Atlantis has revived under the name of Panik.

At the start, the monsters are pink and fairly harmless. They have a limited brain and need only to be buried once. It is hard to be so cruel to these cheerful, smiling creatures, yet if they manage to climb out from your hole, a mutant red monster is created.

These are mean and fast beasts and killing them requires two holes, one directly under the other. Red monsters can metamorphose into the ultimate green variety. These devils need three vertical holes to kill them and they make the game live up to its name.

Panik

It need hardly be said that any kind of monster must be avoided. All contact is fatal.

You will also lose one of your three lives if you run out of oxygen (time) before ridding a screen of all of its nasties. On the first three screens all the monsters are pink, but on the fourth screen the red variety appears. Each screen is similar, but the number and type of monster keep the difficulty increasing.

The style of this game is decidedly dated. The screen display is simple and does not do justice to the capabilities of the micro. The sound effects are simple (but permanent) and lack the plaintive quality of the original Monsters.

The winning point for this game is the easeofuse of the keyboard. Just four keys are needed: Z and X always move the hero left and right, * and ? make him go up or down ladders. If these keys are used at a point where there is no ladder, he will fill or dig holes instead.

If you've got Monsters then I couldn't really recommend Panik - the games are just too similar. If not, and you like simple, fun ladders and levels games - then Panik is a snip

Rog Frost

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