Pankapu is a story-driven episodic platformer developed by Too Kind Studio and published by Plug In Digital. The game was released on September 22nd, 2016.
The game’s story is told as part of a story, told to a young girl by her father to calm her down for sleep. You play as the main character, Pankapu, a guardian summoned by Iketomi, the weaver of human dreams, to defend the land and send back the forces of evil.
The game has some pretty simple mechanics, jumping, basic attacks, blocking, that sort of thing. As every gamer should know, though, simple doesn’t always mean bad, or lacking in content. As long as the game plays well, looks and sounds good and has a great story, the mechanics can be as simple as the developers want. And Pankapu is a joy to play. As you progress, you continuously unlock more and more. Such as Special attack which uses AP, which can be recovered by successfully blocking enemy attacks. Think of it as a mana bar which only refills from defending yourself. These attacks can be seriously powerful and helpful, but you need to make sure not to overuse it and leave yourself with no AP for using it in desperate situations.
The game is incredibly adorable. The game is incredibly colourful and cartoony. It truly is a great game to look at, especially during combat. The enemy’s reactions after being hit or defeated are funny and just make the game feel that much more fun. The music and sounds that accompany the game are just as fitting.
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The platforming in the game is nothing that hasn’t been done before, but it still fits and works with this game. You have moving platforms, disappearing platforms, hazards and collectables. Some collectables can not be collected until you have received certain upgrades to allow you to pass into new areas, which has that sort of Metroidvania feel to it. Later on, you will encounter more obstacles and environmental hazards such as water, because like any self-respecting character in a platformer, being able to swim is not something in their ability list. So then comes having to time your jumps and execute them more carefully, else you risk drowning.
The enemies are varied and are found gradually throughout the game, from the first blobs that you fight, to small flying enemies. Some enemies require more tactics and strategy to fight. For instance, you can continually smack the blobs until they are dead, whereas another enemy can attack you even after being hit, so you need to time your hits and blocks. Each enemy requires a certain tactic in fighting, and this makes the game more enjoyable than your basic run and jump platformer.
Pankapu is out now for $6.50 on Steam. The game is a thoroughly enjoyable and adorable game. The combat, the platforming and the strategy required throughout the entire game are incredibly simple, but all come together to create a thrilling, yet relaxing story-driven platformer. For these reasons, we give Pankapu a 9/10.