Your character is locked inside an art museum and has to avoid bouncing balloons of various sizes, most of which split when hit. The player has the option of “normal” play with stages or “panic” mode in which balloons will appear continuously. In normal mode, watch out for characters like birds and dogs that will paralyze your character.
The third game in the Pang series, this game features new graphics, new digitized psuedo-3D characters, a new beginner mode, and a couple new power-ups. The characters in the game move much more fluidly than in the previous versions.
Each character has a unique power. Don Tacos, the character in the sombrero, can shoot two barriers in separate places. Captain Hog, the pirate character, fires a barrier that connects to the underside of ledges or the top of the room. A new feature to the barrier is that it now has twice the power, so when a balloon hits the barrier, one of the split balloons will be instantaneously hit as well. The other two characters have features new to Pang. The pink leopard, the animal character, only can fire one barrier at a time, but has an immunity to the characters which paralyze. Shiela the Thief, the female character, shows off the new weapon, the diagonal barriers. When fired, they are sent off at a 45 degree angle in different directions.
In addition to the characters, the game no longer has a world traveler theme, the setting is now an art gallery. There are wonderful digitized renditions of famous paintings in the background as you play. During the game, when all the balloons have been cleared, each character shows off a signature dance, which really shows off the great graphics. For example, Don Tacos does a dance with his maraccas.
After selecting a character, the player selects a mode of play. The left mode is a 10-level practice mode, which is a specialized stage mode with basic instructions on the game before each level. After figuring out basic gameplay, players can then choose from either a 50-level normal mode or a frantic panic mode.
Normal mode features stages where all the balloons must be popped within a certain time limit before advancing. Ladders and ledges that disappear when shot are commonplace in normal mode. Also common are special creatures that come out after a certain time. If you shoot them, you’re fine, but don’t let them touch you or they will paralyze you and you will be frozen, allowing any balloon to hit you at will.
Panic mode features just balloons, and more balloons, and even more balloons. In this mode, they just keep on coming, and only an expert will be able to pass all 99 levels. Specialized balloons will sometimes be available for you to pop. Huge balloon bombs, when shot, will destroy any balloons on its sides when shot. Flashing balloons, when shot, will freeze the balloons for a couple seconds, allowing you to shoot them easily. In panic mode, star balloons will appear. When these are shot, all balloons will be popped.
In normal mode, power-ups will often appear. Coins will give you a 100 point bonus. Bubbles will enclose players in a golden bubble and prevent players from one hit from a balloon. Hourglasses will extend time, while clocks will stop time for an extended time, longer than flashing balloons. Food bonuses will also appear, and will give a point bonus, which is progressively higher as the game goes on. Also, weapons can be upgraded. Double barriers will allow the player two shoot two barriers at once. Grappling barriers will allow barriers to connect onto a ledge or wall and will pop any balloon that it touches. Machine guns give you awesome power and will pop at will, but the effects will only last for five seconds and they cannot break ledges.