Ocean Software Ltd
1990
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£9.99
English
ZX Spectrum 128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

52
Mark Caswell, Nick Roberts
Chris Bourne

The hero of this arcade conversion is a little chap resplendent in khaki shirt, shorts and a pith helmet, who armed with a futuristic harpoon gun races around the world popping balloons. There are 17 locations in all, exotic places such as Paris, New York, Moscow and London. Your task is quite simple, burst all the balloons that bounce around the screen in the allocated time limit.

But things ain't as easy as they sound. Shoot a big balloon and it splits into two, shoot one of those and it splits into two and so on! Before you know it, the screen's covered with loads of tiny balloons! Often, when a balloon is split, bonus icons appear, these include stopwatches (these freeze the balloons in their tracks), hour glasses (extra time), really big guns and dynamite. Also watch out for assorted wildlife on your travels, these will stun you for a short time and prevent you from firing your weapon, so avoid them.

Once the balloons have been destroyed you move onto the next (even tougher) level and continue your search for a really big pin. I've played the arcade version of Pang on several occasions, and the Speccy version is pretty close to its arcade parent. The wildly bouncing balloons take a while to get used to, but once you learn to dodge with the skill and grace of a ballet dancer your lifespan increases.

Graphically Pang is good with a detailed main sprite who is animated well and moves fast enough to dodge the balloons. Gameplay is very addictive and the challenge is tremendous. I bet you'll be playing it all the time when you first get it!

MARK ... 81%

CRITICISM

'Pang is a strange but highly addictive game. I found it best to play as a two player team, that way you can hide behind the other player as a bubble shoots towards your head! The detailed backgrounds and the smooth way the bubbles move across the screen make the game a graphical delight and sound's not too bad either. Pang is great fun, just like overdoing it with the fairy liquid!' NICK ... 82%

A fast and very playable balloon shoot-'em-up - moves like greased lightning.

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