Here's a game that almost defies description, although it's pretty much just a point and click adventure of a cartoon...on drugs...on some seriously strange
I had seen this sitting at a local Sound Warehouse (R. I. P., before Blockbuster bought them out, then ruined them) for a while for only $10 before finally deciding to buy the thing, since I had no idea what on earth it was about; even reading the back of the cd cover made no sense, saying something about causing "serious laughter in adults" (? Why not KIDS?), but it didn't really say anything about the gameplay.
Then after I finally bought it one day, that last question was answered by "What gameplay?"
Like I said, it's a point and click adventure, there's not really any "game" here to be found, just watch everything go (severely!) wrong/weird, and that's pretty much it, and that gets repeated over and over and over...the box also says there's over 1,000 gags in Panic!, and I believe it.
Then the intro to the game, in a way, doesn't make any sense either: some kind of malfunction in some kind of server has made all the electronic devices on the face of the planet go totally haywire. This would make sense with tvs, cars, and elevators going bonkers, but what electronic glitch would make a tv throw up? (What part of a tv's electronics is going to produce the puke?) Having a car spit out it's engine is slightly possible, I suppose, but why would pressing the button to an elevator cause one of those head statues from Easter Island to drop out of nowhere and smush someone? Sure, it was funny, but it was like whoever made the intro didn't fully understand their own concept (must be the drug thing already).
So, when you start a game, you're put in a scene, given a remote control with several buttons on it, and off you go, you just press a button to see what happens. There's all kinds of unexpected stuff, like a spider that will thrash it's legs around, creating a drum solo in the process (? You have to see it to understand it...or not), all kinds of ways to mess with Frankenstein's Monster (like shrinking him down to a midget), a lawn mower that will totally erase a lawn, house and all, and even the foot from Monty Python will appear to squash you at one point. There's also some kind of giant, ornamental pig (among many, many other things) that will have a bunch of little pigs crawl out of it, each of which will give your character a peck on the cheek, do a little song and dance, and then jump back into the mother pig (or whatever the hell it is). The squealing (/song?) is totally awful, but all the pigs moving in harmony together is freakin' hilarious (in my opinion).
Some of the stuff's just cool to look at, though, like creating a rainbow effect when you're piloting a ship, a tiger or a dolphin will jump out of a wall in what looks like a beauty salon (no, I'm not making this up), and all kinds of other things. There's also 30 traps scattered around the world that will blow up something and some just flat-out weird little intermissions, like a devil that pops up repeatedly throughout the game (who usually says something weird), or mutants appearing and saying something ELSE that's really weird before disappearing. What...ev...er...
Of course, with something this off the wall, there's a few problems to go along with it, one of them is that you have to take many, many notes in order to see everything, since you don't know which button on the dozens of remote controls you're given are going to whisk you off to another scene before you see everything that happens in the one you're currently in. There's a few places in the game where, if you go to the wrong scene, or set off every trap possible (the latter is unlikely, but I'm just pointing it out), then the game will suddenly end, so you have to restart. And I never could seem to get a game to start off where I supposedly saved the damn thing, whether by using the Sega CD internal memory or from my Backup RAM Cart.
Also, the humor (mostly juvenile) isn't for everyone, as the guy at www.videogamecritic.net gave it an F- as a grade (oh, come ON! F MINUS?), since he didn't feel it was funny at all. I'm giving the game a 6 out of 10 in itself, but that's mostly because of the humor; as for it being an actual "game" in itself, yeah, it only ranks a 1 or a 2 in that regard, I'll admit. But then, the guy at that site also gave Night Trap for the same system an A, so that shows how we're not the same, as I would've given that sucker a D, maybe a C-, at best.
So, there you go: the pros are that it's funny (*I* think) and different as anything, the controls work perfectly, the graphics are cartoon quality, the music and sound is good (the latter was created by two voice actors making a whole range of noises with their mouths, if you listen closely!), plus there's pretty much no load time at all for the gags (unlike something like The Adventures of Willy Beamish, which is terribly slow), but on the flip side it involves taking a ton of notes and you might not enjoy the jokes anyway. So you'll just have to judge for yourself how this sounds before considering getting the bizarre thing if you run across it somewhere.
But then, if you've ever wanted to experiment with drugs, this is a cheaper alternative (depending on how much this game goes for; I don't know, as I'm no expert on prices for Sega CD games, although I'm pretty sure it's fairly rare), it's just as weird, and it's LEGAL, anyway. So, another plus there, I guess. 6/10