Review: Parachute Panic
Version Reviewed: 3.4.9
Given its ‘vertical drop’ nature, Parachute Panic only works in portrait mode. The graphical style is very appealing, and reminiscent of Doodle Jump. Reproducing the hand-drawn style, Parachute Panic looks very much like a ballpoint pen doodle that has come to life. The backdrop of the game is a sheet of squared paper. I can see that the designer has tried to add some shading to created a crumpled effect. However, the repetitive pattern breaks the illusion. If the people responsible see this review, I suggest they read up the Cicada Principle!
More tutorial pages in Parachute Panic
The sound department doesn’t offer much to write home about. There are no sound effects; the only audio is a repeating midi tune. Parachute Panic is best played in silence!
The game space primarily consists of planes that fly above, and ships floating along the water-filled bottom of the screen. As the planes cross the top of the screen, stick men will jump out. Most of the time, they are in free fall and require a tap from you to deploy their parachute.
Deploying the parachute and giving a gust of wind!
Once they’re floating down, swiping your finger across them will provide a gust of wind to push them in the right direction. By doing this you can guide them down to the deck of the awaiting ship below.
The price of missing the deck is that your stick men meet a watery and bloody end; as a massive sketch of a shark will surface and gobble them up!
Beware of the sharks!
So far so good, at this level of game play, things are still manageable, but the game soon earns the right to call itself Parachute Panic. Soon there are multiple free-falling stick men. You have the deploy all of their chutes and guide them all to safety. One trick not described in the tutorial pages is that if the stick men are guided to either side of the screen, they will wrap around to the other side.
Pretty soon, you’ll look upon your stick men as soldiers going into battle - you know some of them aren’t going to make it. You have five ‘lives’ that you can lose before you reach ‘Game Over’. Reaching particular score milestones unlocks a permanent extra life to play with.
The aptly named Parachute Panic does rather induce panic at the number of falling stick men!
Losing lives is recoverable though. By catching babies carried by stalks, your stick men can make up for your mistakes. Yes, you do feel like you’re in a surreal post-modern impressionist dream while playing this game!
However, there are perils roaming the skies too. Flying saucers, lightning clouds, and helicopters are all ready to cut short your stick men’s day in the sky.
The bonuses and perils that exist in the skies of Parachute Panic!
I found Parachute Panic very difficult to play, even on the easier levels. I don’t wish to write off the game just because I wasn’t skilled enough to play it. However, my concerns arose when there were a lot of stick men falling. The responsiveness of the game didn’t seem to be what it could have been. I did notice that parachutes failed to deploy, or wind failed to take effect, when I had most certainly performed the corresponding touch action. Whether it was me or the game, there was certainly an aspect of ‘herding cats’ as the action heated up.
The difficulty level of Parachute Panic does rather mar the enjoyment of the game. I found it a little too frustrating to play, thanks to the poor responsiveness. If the game reacted better to my touch input, I think even losing a game of Parachute Panic would be fun. Full marks to the developers for effort and creativity though. Parachute Panic is available in the Ovi Store for £1.00.
David Gilson for All About Symbian, 11th April 2011
Reviewed by David Gilson at