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Aqua Panic maybe a by the numbers puzzle game, but with genuine charm and wide-ranging well-balanced levels there is more value here that I expected. I even got some of my hard-core shooter fan friends hooked on it.
Aqua Panic turned out to be a blast. You get a lot of game for your money with over 80 puzzling levels which slowly increase in difficultly. Even my mates who don't naturally gel with puzzles games had a good time here.
Aqua Panic was originally a PSP game called Downstream Panic and is now available on the PS3's PlatStation Network. In it you use various water-manipulating tools to take a group of fish safely back to water. Along the way, you have to watch out for the giant piranhas that wait at the bottom of every level. It may look cute, but it is deceptively difficult.
The catchy theme tune for Aqua Panic is still in my head, and I doubt it'll leave anytime soon. Neither will the path making dreams I now have getting my friends to safety. It's addictive in the way that Lemmings was. Replace the Lemmings with fish and the exits with the sea and you have an aquatic take on the famous game - no bad thing though.
Like Lemmings, Aqua Panic is fraught with fishy predators. Sleepy sharks, hungry seagulls, sliding penguins and giant Moray inhabit these waters and will not miss an opportunity to grab an easy lunch.
Even my mates who don't naturally gel with puzzles games had a good time here.
I found myself gliding through the first 20 or so levels. However, it soon becomes more challenging with the paths needed to guide the fish to the sea packed with more and more dangers. Although you are punished for failure this isn't too off putting because it's so addictive. The time simply flew by as I played the game, continuously becoming stuck on the next fiendish challenge that awaited.
There is quite a stash of other features too, ranging from survival modes, online leader boards and a free play mode, the latter I particularly liked. Free play mode allows you to revisit any level you have completed in adventure mode with the added function of a shop which allows you to buy new tools with the money you so well earned.
It made me look back fondly at the days I spent with Lemmings when I was younger.
Even if you don't like puzzle games Aqua Panic may still get you hooked. It has such a charm and well-structured difficulty that it is hard to put down. On the other hand if you like puzzle games like Lemmings then this is a no-brainer. It made me look back fondly at the days I spent with Lemmings when I was younger. Hours of cute, cunning and colourful fun for less than a tenner - yes please.
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