Pang Adventures Review

Even if globetrotting bubble popping sounds like your idea of a good time, Pang Adventures may not be the game for you. A minority out there may remember Super Pang during its 90s SNES prime, known to our American cousins as Super Buster Bros. Well, many years later, Parisian dev Pastagames is now looking to spawn a fresh wave of fans with the classic arcade formula. However, although modernised in some respects, other areas feel drab and dated by comparison, making this game an incredibly hard sale to anyone but stalwart retro fans.

With more than a 100 stages, your objective in Pang Adventures is to shoot out all of the bubbles before the timer expires. It’s a simple enough premise to get behind, but fails to transfix for more than a few minutes. Most issues stem from the limited number of actions available. Each two dimensional level allows players to run left to right, slamming any remaining buttons on the pad to fire your current weapon.

Your default armament is a handy harpoon, with chain guns, flamethrowers, and other over-the-top tools of destruction occasionally falling from the sky. When combined with power-ups and stage effects, this creates a certain amount of variety. For example, some bubbles will explode or trigger a cloud of mist when shot, obscuring the player’s view as they blindly carry on shooting.

However, instead of adding a fun twist, these advanced mechanics feel more like obstacles, weighing down the clunky gameplay even more. What’s worse is Pang’s complete lack of aiming in the name of being true to the original, only allowing you to shoot straight up with your harpoon launcher. Although bonus weapons spread this vertical arc somewhat, it’s still too restrictive and forms a dead zone on either side of your character. Also, without the option to jump, roll, or perform any kind of dynamic movement, players will strafe back and forth, sidestepping bubbles where they can.

If one manages to connect with a bubble while playing Tour Mode, then it’s game over. Here, levels are stacked in a chronological order, punctuated by the occasional boss fight. Each cluster of stages is also attached to a certain geographic location from Bora Bora and Antarctica, to Scotland and Death Valley.


Upon beating Tour Mode, players are invited to run through every stage back-to-back with no continues. If this Score Attack isn’t for you, there’s also a survival variant called Panic Mode. Although it injects a slight change in tempo, the second to second gameplay stays the same.

Having zero rapport with previous Pang games, that nostalgic factor never really came into play. If anything, it took me back my early years at secondary school, hiding my computer screen in IT lessons to boot up any flash games that took my fancy. Although it carries a small nugget of pedigree, Pang Adventures is no more robust or appealing, especially at £7.99.

What’s Good:

  • Occasionally fun co-op.

What’s Bad:

  • Stunted, regressive gameplay manages to mar other aspects that could have flourished.
  • Console and PC versions feel overpriced for what you get.

When played with a friend, some of its issues become easier to overlook, but the fact still remains that those hoping for a triumphant return will be left disappointed by this rather one-dimensional arcade rehash.

Score: 3/10

Version Tested: PS4



  1. I’m sure on the original of pang on the arcade and on the amiga versions you could not direct your harpoon fire and only fire up. Sounds like a pretty faithful recreation of the original to me. I liked the original but agree £8 is a bit steep.

    • Yep, you could only fire upwards in the arcade version. You could however collect the machine gun which dispersed bullets at a slight angle either side.

    • You guys and your good memories. I can only recall that i played it on one of the Commodore machines. Thought it was Vic 20 but it must have been Amiga as i can’t find anything on the web about a Vic 20 version.
      It’s a shame the remake turned out so poor but one thing i did see on the web was a copy of the original C64 game, for £69.99! :)

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