Let’s visit another stinker from my gaming past. A game that left me feeling so frustrated that I actually threw the tape onto a bonfire one year in a fit of rage.
Panic Dizzy (Which is also called Dizzy Panic! but either name is fine) is a simple puzzle game in which you have to match shapes to their corresponding hole. This is done by sliding the “shape guard” at the bottom of the screen either left or right. However the shape dispensers at the top are constantly descending to the bottom of the screen to which if they reach the “shape guard” its game over. So in order to prevent this from happening you have to match 2 or more shapes at the same time. This has the effect of making the dispensers ascend and, depending on how many shapes are dropped together, give an extra bonus.
The controls for this game feel alright for the most part. I did notice some lag when using the joystick compared to the keyboard. Which is really noticeable when I tried to drop several shapes in one go. So most times I ditched the joystick in favour of the keyboard and found the experience to be slightly improved. But not by much.
The graphics on this title are just ok. They are nothing special to look at but at least you can tell what stuff is meant to be. The animation seems to be smooth for the most part and only noticed slowdown when the screen got really busy. Where sprites glitch and colours bleed out because things were intersecting each other too much and the C64 was struggling.
Audibly the game is actually edging on the side of pleasing. The intro music pretty fitting to the game and the music inside the game is quite catchy. However there aren’t any sound effects in this game. But this actually might be a blessing in disguise as I could imagine that they would be pretty poor in quality.
If this game was considered anything more than poor then the fabric of the universe would tear and cause everything to dissolve into nothingness.
And don’t get me wrong because I do like puzzle games. But this one just fails to impress and you spend most of the first few levels just plodding along. Not needing any great skill in order to pass them. Unlike puzzle games like Tetris, where the difficulty and pace build gradually, this game really doesn’t get interesting until you get to level 10. To which you have to be thankful that they at least let you select what level you want to start on as you’re already in the grips of boredom and ready to throw in the towel by level 3 because there just isn’t enough challenge within the first 10 levels.
Even if the controls are passable, the graphics only scraping ok and the music just managing to get to pleasing. It does not make this game any better than what it is. A poor excuse for a puzzle game and a poor example of a game in general.
There is just not enough in this game to keep you playing and you end up with a bitter taste in your mouth after playing this awful mess of a game. As such I am giving this game a 1 out of 5 star rating. Don’t even bother with this game unless it comes in some sort of Dizzy bundle pack.
*just out of curiosity I played some of the other ports of this game, using the dark arts of emulation, to see what this game is like on other systems. And baring variations in sound and graphics capabilities they all pretty much played the same. Except for the Master System version, which is almost a complete reworking of the game and featured a different style of gameplay. But even this version was terrible.
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