These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job.
So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat
from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us
to help by regularly selecting a game You Should
Just as it has done with late night television, Adult Swim has
built up an impressive selection of strange and wonderfully
offbeat mobile games over the years.
Pocket Mortys is one of the more recent treats, but
Robot Unicorn Attack,
Amateur Surgeon, Heads
Up! Hot Dogs,
Boulder of Death
are all old favorites—and that’s just scratching the
surface of what they’ve published.
Even given all of that,
Peter Panic is certainly one of Adult
Swim’s most distinctive games to date. While the core gameplay
is clearly inspired by Nintendo’s
WarioWare series, what with its speedy barrage of
micro-games, it’s all encased within the guise of a musical—a
proper stage show with characters singing out exposition,
tutorial phrases, and even info about in-app purchases. And no
surprise: it’s a weird musical, at that, as the tale of young
director trying to revive his hometown’s broken-down theatre
takes a demonic twist.
Peter will try to save his theatre with some help from new
friends, but not everyone is as friendly as they first appear.
And best of all, Peter Panic can be played through and through
without spending a penny, although there’s a notable asterisk
on that point. Eager to get a bunch of catchy songs stuck in
your head? Here’s why Peter Panic is such a memorable mash-up.
It’s frantic fun: Peter Panic makes little
effort to hide its WarioWare influence, but then again, there
isn’t much else like that Nintendo favorite on the App Store.
While on your quest to cast your musical and recruit help,
you’ll stop in at various locales in town—a school, museum, and
even a game development studio—at which point you’re tested
with a chaotic series of quick-hit games.
In this micro-game, you’ll sort a stack of papers by header
color within a span of just a few seconds.
Each micro-game tends to last only a few seconds at a time, and
they come one right after the next until you finish the set or
fail out. For example, in the game studio, you’ll tap to jump
Super Mario-like side-scroller, combine symbols to match a
completed image, or tap to shoot enemies in a Doom-inspired
shooter sequence—and that’s just a taste of what’s included.
There’s some trial-and-error fumbling involved, since Peter
Panic offers little instruction, but that’s part of the amusing
chaos of it all.
You’ll want to sing along: Peter Panic really
feels like a musical, albeit one with pint-sized games,
supernatural themes, and plenty of snark. When Peter drops into
a new location, he’ll begin singing out a conversation with
whomever he’s trying to recruit, be it a museum tour guide or a
school teacher—and the songs themselves are not only well
written, but entertainingly performed as well.
Peter Panic has songs about everything from packing peanuts to
soulless free-to-play clones. It’s a fun one!
Adult Swim’s game has a charming, retro-inspired look to it, as
well, with adorably detailed pixel characters flailing about
amidst the wild show tune showdowns. Only the first act was
available when the game first launched last year, although the
second act has been added since to complete the tale and really
flesh out the experience.
It’s free (mostly): Peter Panic can be played
through, start to finish, and it doesn’t feature any pop-up,
video, or banner ads within. However, there is a pretty notable
in-app purchase available: the ability to save your progress.
You can play all you want in a session if you plan on zipping
through the entire game at once, but if you exit, you’ll have
to start over unless you pay the $3 for the save function.
This tiny game tasks you with shooting missiles at the exact
moment to blast meteors out of the sky.
Saving progress lets you replay the levels in any order and tap
into unlocked content, and is ideal if you only plan to play
for a few minutes at a time. Otherwise, you really might not
need it. App Store user reviews don’t seem too pleased with
this approach, but then again, people who leave obnoxious App
Store reviews usually hate spending any money for
games. Peter Panic offers plenty of fun, with an amusing
premise and hilarious songs—and the fact that you can enjoy it
for free is in no way a bad thing.