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Super Pang

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Released: 1990

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Arcade

Publisher: Mitchell Corporation

Submitted by: Alex Holmes

The follow up to the 1989 original, Super Pang carries on where it left off with the bubbles returning in abundance with this brilliant arcade offering.  The game offers two very different modes of play, arcade and panic.

Arcade mode features various stages of increasing difficulty, spanning the four continents.  Each levels design calls for a different approach and stratagy.  For example some stages feature dividing walls that only certain size bubbles can fit through, so shooting them all and breaking them down will mean they can all fit through and make the stage much harder, so selective shooting is required.  And some have no obstacles or features, meaning that button bashing and speed are key to clearing the stage. 

The stages feature various power ups and bonuses.  The most important being the weapon upgrades, such as double spears which allows two shots at once, a hook which will fix to the top of the screen and will burst any bubble which hits it, and the gun, which gives a contra style spread fire, meaning that even the most crowded of stages can be cleared in mere seconds.

Panic mode is one long stage, with a seemingly endless stream of balls coming from the top of the screen, and the objective is to survive for as long as possible.  As players shoot bubbles their level will increase, which speeds up the game making for some frantic play!  Collectables such as a clock which freezes the balls for a short time can help, as the star, which totally clears the balls on screen.  This mode requires you to get right up to level 99 to clear the game, which is no easy task, with my personal best is level 62 which I found almost impossible to go any further!

The whole Pang series is one of the greatest in the glory days of arcade gaming with this easily being one the best.