1985
Arcade: Platform
£2.50
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 16K
None

22,23
Chris Bourne

Now here's a very simple little task for you. You are in control of a droid stranded in some far and distant alien cargo hold which is littered with Teddy bears. The cuddlies are desperately needed on Earth to satisfy the world Teddy bear shortage.

The game is played over four platforms, one above the other, each of which would be continuous but for the gap that your spaceship fits into. Elevators are placed at regular intervals allowing movement up or down between the platforms. The droid moves the bears along the plat - form by firing his blaster at them, so making them chunter along until they fall over the edge into the spaceship's hold.

All pretty simple so far... one little problem is that the bears are contaminated and must be purified with a burst of blaster before the droid can touch them.

Easy if you remember to administer a quick blast before passing them. The droid can only manage to move two bears at a time otherwise forward progress will be very slow indeed and speed is important because of a little green alien which bears more than a passing resemblance to Tyrannosaurus Rex (the prehistoric version, not the seventies glam group). This chap seems to have all the cards stacked in his favour, well it is his planet after all. You can't shoot or outrun him, the only advantage being that you can change platforms by more than one level at a time (if you're near the lift) and the alien can only hop up or down one level at a time, but even so staying out of the monster's way while trying to load the ship is far from easy.

When a batch of Teddies have been loaded into your space craft it will rise up a level. The craft will take off for the next screen after it has received a load from each platform. The following screens are progressively harder with the introduction of more monsters but these additional monsters can be disposed of by knocking them off the edge.

CRITICISM

'Don't Panic had me panicking, it must be one of the most infuriating games that I have played this year. You get a nice long line of Teddy bears ready to push into your space ship when out of no where a monster appears and starts chasing you. I feel that this game is totally unfair on the player, you are provided with a lazer that doesn't work on the alien who you can't run away from because he runs faster than you. Don't Panic has nice big graphics which are well animated and scroll well. The sound is okay, being mainly spot effects and a sort of ticking noise from the droid. I enjoyed playing this game until I reached the point at which I could go no further after that it was just very frustrating'

Don't Panic' is a simple game in both design and concept, and it's pretty hard to load up enough teddies to get your rocket off the first screen. The Green Monster is a real menace, and I'm only glad that his mates don't wander around the streets of Ludlow! Overall good value for the price, but l didn't find it terribly addictive.'

'Just what have Firebird got against Teddies then? Pushing the cuddly little beasts around and hurling them off platforms into a rocket fuel making plant potters. At first glance the game seems overly simple, but once I started playing it I found I was hooked. That green monster is infuriating - it would have been nice to have been able to take the odd shot at it and slow it down or something. As it is, the Green Meanie tends to follow you round, and appear just when you thought you'd cracked it and got a good herd of teddies lined up for the push. A bit of strategy is needed to get anywhere on this game, it's no good just aimlessly pushing bears in the right direction. I think I'll be playing it for a while yet. Don't Panic? I hardly stopped.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: reclaimable
Joystick: any
Keyboard play: no problems
Use of colour: limited
Graphics: better than average
Sound: limited but at least average
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 5
Screens:
General Rating: A better than average game.

75%
70%
71%
68%
78%
80%
70%

Screenshot Text

Blast the teddies before the monster gets you.