It’s always cool to be introduced to a great little indie game you’ve never heard of, and that’s why I’m welcoming you to Pandaland, a retro-style indie platformer that came out for free last year. It is currently available for Windows only, and the website itself is only in Swedish, so it isn’t going to reach a big audience unless, you know, someone famous talks about it.
Like GameCola. We’re famous, right?
Pandaland is sweet. But it has one glaring issue. You can bet your bottom dollar that this game is perhaps the shortest indie game you’ll ever play, unless you died on the first spike in Cave Story and then hung the game up in disgust.
In Oriental Endangered Species World, the player takes control of Amanda Panda. She is on an adventure to save her friends (or at least, I think that’s the story) from some evil person who looks suspiciously like Wart from Super Mario Bros 2.
You attack by throwing cherries at people, and there are evil poodles that try to kill you by barking. It is zany (but let’s face it—most of the games I play are). I wish I understood more about the premise, and why cherries are the main weapon, particularly. Just in case I can use cherries to protect myself from attackers, because these shurikens are moderately more expensive.
Some of those floor tiles look suspiciously like the title screen tiles from Super Mario Bros. 3, come to think of it. Yep, they look pretty similar, Warts and all.
I’m making it sound like a lunch-break game, and, well, I guess that’s the perfect description, actually. Simple and hardly challenging, and you’re not likely to get a Game Over of any kind. Unless you lack the capacity to play videogames. Or the capacity to breathe.
The game switches to a harder difficulty once you defeat Wart the final boss, but it isn’t really any harder. The extra difficulty barely constitutes replayability, as once you beat the game twice, there isn’t any more incentive to play it again.
Did I mention that the final boss looks like Wart? I think I have already.
He attacks by popping a bottle of champagne. I’ve fought paraplegics who were tougher than this guy.
The game only contains four levels, so as far as indie games go, it’s a midget at a Giant/Giantess Convention. But that suits me just fine, as it means you can play the game every couple of months or so without it getting old. It wastes five minutes I’d have otherwise spent stressing out about something.
As far as indie games go, and taking into account its small size, this is exactly the kind of game you should pass around on a thumb-drive. Share the Pandaland love—it ain’t a long game, and it ain’t tricky, but it’s worth a quick play. I’m sure you’ll be at least somewhat satisfied.