Pang (aka Buster Bros) is an arcade platform game initially developed for the coin-op machines. It consists of 50 different levels in which you must smash the big bubbles that bounce around the level. Pang was developed by Mitchell Corp and published by Ocean. In 1990 the game was converted to the Atari ST, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Amstrad CPC Plus, Spectrum ZX and Commodore 64 home computers.
STORY / GAMEPLAY Pang is an arcade platform game that takes you (a young boy) across the world, with a main cause to shoot down bubbles that bounce around the screen. Only when all the bubbles are destroyed you may proceed to the next stage. Your main weapon is a projectile gun that shoots wires (!) that spike the bubbles and can be upgraded through a variety of bonuses! There is also a laser gun (as extra bonus) with which you can shoot the "evil" bubbles from a distance. Other bonuses include a time-freeze clock, a brief shield field, a double-shot wire and more. You can move on the horizontal platforms and go up or down any available ladder that may be nearby. Apart from the bubbles there are additionally some nice little living things like owls or lobsters that occasionally pass across the screen and must be shot as well. Upon spiking them, the large bubbles turn into smaller ones, swarming the screen like mad. The gameplay is awesome and addictive, especially when the game is played in a 2-players mode. Note also that the game is set against a time limit and, as you progress, this time limit decreases! There are 50 levels in total that feature famous sceneries (monuments) from different countries, like the Athens' Acropolis, the Statue of Liberty, Mount Kilimanjaro, Taj Mahal and more. Overall, Pang is among the best coin-op conversions ever made for a number of retro home gaming systems and surely a game that needs some skills since you'll die instantly when touched by a bubble!
GRAPHICS / SOUND Technically, the ST version is pretty close to the Amiga, but with only 24 colors on-screen! Nevertheless, it still keeps the original coin-op's feeling! The visuals look nice and the sprites move fast, making the game challenging and very playable at the same time! Soundwise, the in-game tunes are good and replicate well the original tunes, but the popping sound when a bubble is spiked nearby, becomes rather annoying after a while.
In-game music sample:
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CPU: Motorola 68000 16/32bit at 8mhz. 16 bit data bus/32 bit internal/24-bit address bus. MEMORY: RAM 512KB (1MB for the 1040ST models) / ROM 192KB GRAPHICS: Digital-to-Analog Converter of 3-bits, eight levels per RGB channel, featuring a 9-bit RGB palette (512 colors), 320x200 (16 color), 640x200 (4 color), 640x400 (monochrome). With special programming techniques could display 512 colors on screen in static images. SOUND: Yamaha YM2149F PSG "Programmable Sound Generator" chip provided 3-voice sound synthesis, plus 1-voice white noise mono PSG. It also has two MIDI ports, and support mixed YM2149 sfx and MIDI music in gaming (there are several games supported this).