Jun 20, 2011
Physics based puzzle games are all the rage nowadays. Usually they feature cute animals, tinkly soundtracks and cheeky, humorous cut scenes between some of the levels. Most of them offer nothing new to the genre, being cheap copies of more successful titles that dupe cash out of the the wallets and bank accounts of the unsuspecting. Then there are the games that actually add something, take the model laid out for them and pop in their own ideas, styles and ways of playing. Nano Panda is one of the latter, a fun, engaging puzzle title that’s different enough from the norm to be worth checking out.
The game tasks you with firing miniaturized pandas as rogue atoms, in order to clear them from the screen. Each level also has three stars to collect, and you need those stars to progress through the game. So, whilst a level might seem simple at first, it becomes that much more difficult when you need to grab those stars as well. You’re given a set number of pandas for each level, and if you fire out more than one, they join together, swinging around each other before they collide with the side of the screen and explode. To succeed, you need to use this spinning ability to your advantage, catapulting your pandas in the right direction.
Sometimes the controls let the game down a little, with taps on the screen not registering as quickly as they should. Some of the levels are more frustrating than taxing, but more often than not the game gets the difficulty balance just right.
Nano Panda is a sweet, clever little puzzle game. It comes in nice bite-sized chunks, just right for the gamer on the go. It’s not quite the perfect puzzler, but it has a distinctive style, and when it finds its groove, it’s second to none.