Some games have titles that don’t give away anything about the game. Then there are the games where the title does a good job of describing what the game entails. Much like the hugely popular Angry Birds, which revolved around a flock of angry birds, Pirates Vs. Ninjas Vs. Zombies Vs. Pandas, from PAN Vision AB, pits these four different factions against each other. Also like Angry Birds, the action takes place within a physics based puzzle game. It’s a small world, isn’t it.
So, we have the age old conflict of Pirated against Ninjas. Then we have the addition of Zombies, which seems to be a necessity in the majority of recent games. And finally there are the Pandas. I am not really sure where they fit into the grand scheme of things, but they are mean and packing plenty of attitude. So they can stay.
As previously mentioned, the game is a physics based puzzler that sees the player trying to take out each of the enemy units in their haphazardly built structures. This is achieved by firing one of their units from a cannon, into the structures. The player has to eliminate each of the enemy units in the level and they only have a certain number of units with which to do this. Unlike Angry Birds, a spanner has been thrown into the mix with the occasional friendly unit also appearing in the level. Destroying this unit will result in an instant fail, so the player must be even more careful when picking targets.
Play begins with everyone Vs Pandas, then moves on to everyone vs pirates, ninjas and finally zombies. Starting out against the pandas, players launch their pirate grunts into the structures in an attempt to wipe out the evil(?) pandas. Each of the factions have their own special units that become available to the other factions during the levels, such as the flaming pirate, chopping ninjas and bombing zombies. By tracing a line from the cannon towards the chosen target, the trajectory and strength of the shot can be adjusted, and the player can choose between which of the units they wish to fire.
Anyone who has played Angry Birds will be able to pick this up fairly quickly. But there are a few little quirks that have made their way into the game. Perhaps the most devastating of these is the games insistence to zoom in on the action. Whilst this in itself is no bad thing, the game doesn’t zoom out afterwards, making targeting very difficult. The player can use the pinch control to zoom out themselves, but then run the risk of accidentally firing their cannon, which I did a number of times. There are also a few crashing issues, but I am sure that they will be cleaned up in the next update.
PvNvZvP brings with it a welcome humour, but given the subject matter it would be difficult not to be funny. The different factions all look great and each have their own themed environments that can be seen in the levels. It is bright and colourful, and easy on the eye. The audio also fits in well, but can get a bit annoying after a while.
Pitching factions of Pirates, Ninjas, Zombies and Pandas against each other is a stroke of genius, and the game certainly has the light-hearted feel to carry this off. The familiar gameplay will entertain anyone looking to expand their physics based gameplay beyond a group of stroppy flying creatures. But how it stands at the moment, the game is a bit short and has a couple of problems that can be frustrating. It may well be that the next update will fix the issues and I am sure that more levels are on the cards. It is not the best example of the genre, but it still offers a reasonable amount of entertainment for the 59p asking price.
Pirates Vs. Ninjas Vs. Zombies Vs. Pandas, from PAN Vision AB, is available on the App Store for the iPhone at just 59p and the iPad for Â£1.19.