Pang Adventures is a sequel to the 1989 arcade game known as Buster Bros. in North America. The original is something of a classic, but this version is just okay. The updated visuals lose a lot of the earlier charm, and only the Tour Mode (in co-op) proves to have lasting power.

I’m going to quote from Nintendo’s game page to describe the premise of Pang Adventures“Guide two brothers around the world to save humankind from an alien invasion! Use your skills to overcome the attack balls pouring from the skies & rescue the world from impending annihilation!” It’s actually intuitive in practice, meaning almost anyone can jump in and get started. In some ways it reminds me of Bubble Bobble’s arcade origins, as you can cooperatively pop bubbles across single-screen levels.

Of the three modes on offer, the remaining two have to be unlocked – I fail to see the wisdom in this. Panic and Score modes are mainly more challenging variants of the core game. For someone who found Pang Adventures to just be okay, there’s a limited appeal here, and I haven’t been inclined to play through these modes much once they became accessible.

While the new presentation has some points in its favor, like background animations, overall I found it disappointing. The display is more akin to a generic mobile game. The bubbles seem a bit too large and the presentation a bit too bright. Large borders on the side do no favors either. The art direction breaks too far away from its retro roots for me to get behind. Ironically, this game likely appeals most to older gamers.

Different bubbles react in unique ways.  There are power-ups, and even some boss fights. But this linear game doesn’t have much lasting power. Perhaps if Pang Adventures had online co-op like the original Steam version, but it’s limited to local only on Nintendo Switch. A shame.

I haven’t much cared for Pang Adventures when playing alone, so I can only recommend it for co-op play.  Even then, I’d wait for a sale to bring the game in line closer to what you’d pay on PC or mobile. The game is okay, subpar looks and all, but as a Switch port, it is vanilla.