Parachute Panic will have you sweating as you try to guide these fearless parachutists to a safe landing over shark infested waters. Unknown to them, there is also danger in the skies in the form of thunderstorms, helicopters, and UFOs. It's all up to you to make sure they make it safely down.
Once the game loads, you will be at the Main Menu, from there you can go through a "How to Play" tutorial, view fun Statistics including tracking just how your hapless parachutists have died, and turn off sound effects or music in Options. In addition there is an "Other Games" selection; a word of warning, pressing this will end the game and take you to an App Store page showing all of FDG Entertainment's games. I really wish the game would include a confirmation dialogue to let you know what is going to happen.
Gameplay The game includes a handy tutorial explaining exactly how to dodge the dangers and alter the course of falling or floating parachuters. The gameplay basics are really easy. Most parachutists have their chutes automatically open; just swipe a guy with an open parachute and you'll create wind that will blow him in the direction you just drew. You can create wind from most any direction, but don't expect a tornadic gust. You will have to learn to anticipate where parachutists will finally land based on their direction and rate of fall.
Other parachutists are not so lucky and their parachutes will not open without your intervention. Just tap on them, and whew, they'll be falling safe and sound as their parachute deploys. You can actually use this to your advantage. A parachutist whose chute has not opened falls pretty quickly and will not be harmed by any of the dangers in the air. So let them fall past an obstacle and then deploy their chute. You can also take a risk and open their chutes at the last second for a "risk bonus".
Enemies are plentiful in this game. In the air, there are thunderclouds that are ready to zap parachutes into ashes with lightning, helicopters with whirling blades of death, and UFOs just waiting to abduct your guys right out of the sky. Luckily you can defeat the UFOs and helicopters by tapping on them repeatedly until they are destroyed. You know an aerial enemy is about to appear when a red arrow appears at the edge of the screen. If you don't land successfully on a boat be prepared for your guys to become shark food. You can only lose 4 parachutists and continue playing, with your 5th loss the game ends.
The game includes two difficulty modes: Easy and Normal. In Easy mode it only takes 3 taps to destroy an enemy. In Normal it will take 5 tap and enemies will appear a lot more often.
Graphics Parachute Panic's graphics have their own unique style. Everything from the menus to the actual gameplay is rendered as hand drawn doodles with a minimal set of colors. The game is meant to emulate the bored doodlings of a school student.
Sound The sound effects are pretty funny and of high quality. You'll definitely hear the crunching of shark jaws on a poor, hapless parachutist that has missed the boat. The music is a real gem and includes catchy vocals for the main menu and post game statistics page.
Pros: -fun, hand drawn doodle looking graphics -easy to learn gameplay -good tutorial -Easy and Normal difficulty modes -catchy music and good sound effects -fun but challenging -fun statistics
Cons: -no global leaderboards -"Other Games" in Main Menu does not warn you that you will be leaving the game
In the next update, the developer states there will be online high scores, a buddy list, and an opportunity to win back lives lost.
Conclusion Parachute Panic is definitely fun, but can be challenging especially on Normal mode. I really enjoy the hand-drawn look of the graphics and the background music. It is an easy pick-up-and-play style game that is sure to please any casual game fan. The addition of online high scores will really give this game a lot of competitive replayability. I recommend you get the game now and start practicing before then.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: -4.5- hand drawn doodle art with minimal colors Sound: -4- catchy vocals for main menu, good sound effects Controls: -4.5- swipe to create a wind gust, tap to destroy enemies Gameplay: -4.5- simple to play, challenging to master
Playing Hints and Tips: -Watch the sides for red arrows to signal incoming enemies. -Once you swipe in one direction, you cannot just keep swiping wildly and hope to move your guys so you need to plan your moves before hand. -Use the non-opening of parachutes to your advantage against enemies in the air.
Developer: FDG Entertainment Release Date: May 29, 2009 Genre: Arcade/Strategy Price: $0.99