Indie Game Review: Panic Attack - The Devil's Favorite Game

DeRail Games, the company behind the amazing Xbox Live Indie Game, Jump'n Bounce, is back to their old-school arcade antics with their latest indie game, Panic Attack - The Devil's Favorite Game. Upon first glance, Panic Attack has a very similar look and concept to Jump'n Bounce, get your emoticon to the star at the end of the stage, but there is, without a doubt, a lot more frustration to be had with Panic Attack.

Rather than having the player go through the levels slow and methodically, like Jump'n Bounce, the idea of Panic Attack is to throw the players in hard and fast. This game is the equivalent of taking a kid and throwing him into a lake to make him learn to swim, whereas Jump'n Bounce was more of a series of swimming lessons at first.

With Panic Attack, you'll see your emoticon flying through levels at blistering paces. To avoid objects, you can bounce, double jump and boost your way. You can try to go at a slower pace if you feel you need to at first, but keep in mind that there will be no mercy if you are attempting to unlock the next series of levels. The levels all have par times which must be met in order to unlock the following level.

Because of this par-time mechanic, the game becomes largely a game based on trial-and-error. Luckily, the levels are interesting enough that they don't become boring. While mastering these various runs might be great for completionists, the most fun that is to be had with this title, however, is trying to complete a level upon first glance of the map.

That is no easy task, however, as these levels will throw everything they can at you. From sprites that bounce up and down in patterns to entrapping ceilings that start collapsing once you cross a certain path, you will have a lot of deaths to add to your tally by the time you make your way through the 56 levels in the main part of the game.

If you don't have enough deaths for your liking, you can always try out the Director's Cut of the game after you complete the main game. These 25 levels are amazingly difficult and will definitely keep you occupied, even if you think you're at the top of the leaderboards.

The game shares the same retro-visual stylings of Jump'n Bounce, which will certainly please fans of the retro arcade. There may be a few more colors in Panic Attack, but the game is definitely similar in it's look. The game also handles the blistering pace well and you'll never see any screen tearing, due to the simple design of the graphics.  The soundtrack also has some great tunes from 8 Bit Weapon and ComputeHer, which adds to the frantic mood of the game.

Panic Attack might give you just that with it's incredibly stressful level design and situational action, but for $3 (240 MS Points), you can definitely do much worse. If you didn't download Jump'n Bounce, you may want to start with that title so that you may come to understand the way the physics work with DeRail Games, but if you already enjoyed the phenomenal value of Jump'n Bounce, it's time you take the plunge into the incredibly difficult game, the aptly titled Panic Attack - The Devil's Favorite Game.