Review: Pan-Dimensional Conga Combat

By: Kevin Tilley (Unkle K)

Being an old timer harking from the days of the Atari VCS and Commodore 64, the complexities of modern gaming sometimes get the better of me. Not only that, but with a large family and demanding job, spending hours gaming each day is an impossibility. Short, sharp bursts of gaming not only fit into the small amount of free time I actually have, it also suits my rather limited attention span as well. Cue RGCD, who have been bringing us pick up and play Commodore 64 games for years now, and in 2016 released Pan-Dimensional Conga Combat on the Windows platform via the RGCD itch.io store.

After nearly two years since the original itch.io release, and a rather quiet Greenlight campaign, Pan was released on Steam on February 16.

Self-described as “a rhythm-synchronised, old-school, score-chasing arcade game that plays like some alien coin-op from another dimension”, Pan is a mash of the old and new. I can only describe it as the love child of Volfied and Robotron, with a hint of Geometry Wars thrown in – an impressive pedigree indeed, and fortunately for us, it all gels together perfectly.

Set in a rather confined arena, Pan has you navigating the screen and obliterating everything that moves with your bullet tail. The tail follows you around at a distance that is proportional to your speed – the faster you move the longer your tail gets. You can also charge your on board laser cannon whenever the free roaming purploids drift into your tail. Once charged, you have a short burst mega destructive cannon at your disposal, which is essential when the action hits a certain level of franticness. To complete each level you must make a predetermined set of kills. There are also various score chains you can achieve and an assortment of enemy types to get your head around – with most of them homing straight in on you Robotron style, in various speeds and patterns. Enemy portals are destroyed by looping your tail around them, and levels are completed by entering the warp which opens up as soon as you reach the kill quota.

Pan is a frantic and compulsive score chaser that will have you pulling your hair out in disgust and immediately pressing the button for another go. Controls are simple and the game is immediately accessible. There are enough game modes present to keep you more than interested for a good while (include arcade and a survival mode) and the Steam release introduces online leader boards and achievements. For a game like Pan, these simple additions really add to the games longevity.

Graphics are solid without being outstanding, with the limited palette of colours supported by attractive pixel art and various visual effects, that don’t reach ‘Minter’ levels of trippyness but do their job regardless. The soundtrack is perfectly suitable, with various beats and breaks complimenting the gameplay and adding to the overall experience.

Pan-Dimensional Conga Combat deserves to be played. It’s an honest and fun score chaser that will test your (probably aging) reflexes and reward persistence. Old school gamers looking for a quick blast will love it, and younger gamers should give it a go and prove their superiority on the online leader boards – c’mon, I dare you! Highly recommended.


source: James Monkman

Footnote: A special package is still available on itch.io which contains the game (the itch.io download and a Steam key) as well as a set of two matte-finish A2 RGCD posters.

 

Luftrauserz Cleared For Landing On The C64

Change your soiled trauserz peeps, as RGCD is busily flashing C64 cartridges with Paul Koller’s Luftrauserz game. Yep, you read that right, the awesome shoot’em up Luftrauserz is coming to the venerable 8-bit micro! Work is also being done on the game’s manual and case inserts which we must say, look absolutely amazing. We’ll hopefully get word on the release date very soon – we’re betting that this game will sell like crazy!

While we are on the C64 news bandwagon, RGCD are also relaunching their out of stock games, which is great news for all of you that missed out on awesome games like Powerglove, C64anabalt, Super Bread Box and Bomberland. These relaunched titles will have improved cartridge labels (see below) and newly designed printed manuals. We reckon we’ll have to hit up RGCD for a few C64 carts for the Classic Gaming Area at PAXAus 2017!

source: RGCD

Super Bread Box: Superb C64 Fun

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NEWSFLASH: RGCD has announced that Super Bread Box is available for download for all you C64 fanatics (Ed: proud to be a C64 fanatic). This news is great for all retro gaming fans, as Paul Koller’s game is damn awesome. Even if you do not possess a C64, you can get in on the action via VICE on your Windows machine.

Super Bread Box is available for free, but if you can spare a few coins, please throw some over to show your support and reward the developer for their great effort. What are you waiting for? Hop to it!

Super Bread Box on RGCD.DEV

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SBB_Screen2source: RGCD

Unleash Your C64 Game Creativity

cartridge-C64-16k-COMPODo you have a C64 game idea burning inside of you? Do you have what it takes to make a C64 game? Unleash your game creativity (and possibly win some prizes!) in the annual RGCD C64 16KB Cartridge Game Development Competition.

The competition is open till December 1 2014 for all you budding developers. Enter now! You never know, we may be playing your game in the near future!

image source: RGCD