Peter Panic (Free) by [adult swim] is a mobile musical with plenty of mini-games for your entertainment. If you are a fan of the WarioWare games, then you will love what Peter Panic brings to the world of iOS gaming.
As much as I love playing games on my iOS device, let’s face it — the App Store just gets filled up with the same kind of stuff every day. You have the typical run-of-the-mill match-threes, infinite runners, Clash of Clan clones, quick little arcade fixes, and other tried-and-true formulas that everyone knows about. It’s getting rarer to see something unique and original on the App Store these days, so when I find something that is different, I’m quick to jump on the opportunity. That’s why Peter Panic struck a chord with me — it’s unlike anything you’ve tried on the App Store to this day, and that means it is fresh and exciting.
As a big fan of pixel art myself, I’m in love with the style of Peter Panic. The game is pixelated in adorable 16-bit fashion, and the expressions on each character’s face is priceless. The colors range from soft pastels to colorful and vivid brights, and everything is finely detailed. While I found the game text to be a bit hard to read at times due to the script-style font, I like how it suits the Broadway theme of the game. Animations in Peter Panic are smooth and fluid, with no lag on my iPhone 6s Plus. The background music in the game is rather whimsical and quirky, but the real treat here is with the actual singing done by Peter and other characters you meet along the way. These are real songs that are sung by some talented Broadway stars, including those behind “Fun Home,” “Hair,” “The Little Mermaid,” and more. For the best experience with Peter Panic, you’re going to want to get your best headphones.
In Peter Panic, you’ll meet the young and talented director, Peter, as he introduces himself with a bit of humor (similar to how the “Deadpool” movie makes fun of itself). As he wants to embark on his quest to become a top Broadway director, he just finds out that his longtime theater has just closed down due to some rather unfortunate circumstances. In order to get it kicking again, he’ll need some funding, but the only way to get that is to win over the local businesses near the theater with the old “you scratch my back, I scratch yours” method. And this is where all of those mini-games come into play.
As you set out to try and win the favor of neighboring businesses for your cause, you’ll have to perform jobs for those business owners. The first one in Peter Panic is the packing peanut factory that is right next door, where you’ll meet a charismatic blonde who looks oddly like a mix of Conan O’Brien with Donald Trump’s hair. To earn some money, you’ll have to successfully complete some mini-games, and you can unlock more businesses and difficulty levels by completing a certain number of mini-games in the factory without screwing up and losing your three hearts per job.
The controls in Peter Panic are simple, and the mini-games will usually tell you what you have to do, though it can be hard to pay attention given the fast-paced nature of the game. Still, all of the mini-games utilize multitouch gestures like swiping and taps — you just have to pay attention to the timing of things. For example, some jobs in the packing peanut factory involve tapping buttons to fill up boxes on the conveyor belt, levers to fill the mold with the liquid that turns into packing peanuts, catching items in peanut-filled boxes, sorting paperwork, and more. As you complete more mini-games successfully, the game warns you when things are about to speed up, so you can be somewhat prepared for it. The more times you come back to a job to earn cash, the more new things get added to the mini-games to spice things up. Once you’re good enough and complete a certain number of games without messing up (the game tells you how many you need), you’ll unlock the next local business and try your hand at that.
Even though Peter Panic is a free download, it allows you to play as much of the game as you want at any given time, and so far I have not encountered any ads. However, while you can play the game as much as you want, you won’t be able to save your progress unless you go for the $2.99 in-app purchase that unlocks this feature. If you don’t, you’re still able to play as much as you want, and even beat the game, as long as you don’t stop playing. So if you don’t want to unlock the game saving feature, but still want to beat the game, you’re going to have to do it in one go — otherwise, you’ll lose your progress.
Personally, I think the game is fun and unique enough that it warrants the in-app purchase for saving. Plus, it has a humorous little dialogue with the pixelated sprites of the two people who made the game, which I thought was well done.
Since this is a game about mini-games, there is clearly a lot of replay value. It’s always fun to go back to stages and see if you can do better than your best run, unlock more bonuses, and even compete with friends with Game Center leaderboards.
I’m still early on in Peter Panic, but I’m finding it to be an enjoyable way to pass the time, and I’ve even opted for the game saving unlock. I love the pixel art, the original songs and score are wonderfully performed, and the mini-games themselves are pretty challenging. There’s a lot to love about this little game, and it’s definitely one I’m going to be coming back to for a long time.
I recommend checking out Peter Panic if you like Broadway musicals or just like arcade mini-games. You can get Peter Panic on the App Store as a universal download for the iPhone and iPad for free with in-app purchases.