Pankapu – Review
Follow Genre: 2D Platformer
Developer: Too Kind Studio
Publisher: Plug in Digital
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Pankapu – Review

Site Score
Good: Beautiful graphics and music.
Bad: Annoying companion.
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Darkness has taken over the world of dreams ever since the nightmare horde invaded. One by one the people fell before its power until, at last, the god of dreams had to act. He pulled together all his remaining power and created a guardian, the final hope of the dream world and the only one who could stand against the tide. Pankapu.20161018182025_1Story

The story in Pankapu is primarily told through the form of a fable, read to a child who is troubled by a tragic incident in her past.The world of dreams has been invaded by nightmare creatures and many of the worlds inhabitants have fallen, finding themselves unable to defend against the monsters. In order to try and save the dream world, the god of of dreams creates Pankapu, a tiny warrior who is charged with ridding the world of the nightmare invasion. Pankapu must journey through the land with his magical sword and armour, fighting off monsters and making friends and allies in order to find a way to destroy the nightmare horde.

The story itself is rather simple and childlike, which is fine, it is supposed to be a story being read to a young girl after all, but some of the characters become incredibly annoying when they’re explaining every single little puzzle or bit of the plot to you. “Nightmares are evil, evil is bad. We don’t like evil monsters that try to kill us, ect.” Yes, thank you. I’m sure we could have figured that out by ourselves.20161018191509_1Graphics

Pankapu looks absolutely beautiful. The backgrounds and character design alike are magical, and do not fail to fill you with a sense of childlike wonder. The bright palette of colours and well polished sprites really help to put you at ease and imbue the title with a light-hearted and relaxing feel. The art style is likewise wonderful and elegant, something that may surprise you for a title with such a reasonable price tag.

You can explore stunningly crafted mountains, forests and seas. All the while encountering the purple hue of corruption from the creatures and thorns of the evil nightmare horde. It is this array of bright colours and hues that come together to create a really inspiring piece.20161018182502_1Sound

The sound, just like the graphics, is expertly created. Pankapu features a brilliant original soundtrack, as well as tons of little touches and sound effects that really help to bring the world, and the characters, to life. Some of the game has voice acting (most notably the title sequence) and it’s actually rather excellent, but most of the characters tend to talk in cute little beeps and boops. However, it is the excellent music that really allows you to be transported and immersed into this strange new world. It gives each scene and area character and allows you to feel a sense of youthful exuberance that you rarely get from video game soundtracks.


As a retro 2D platformer, Pankapu is likely to bring back warm memories of playing some of the classic light-hearted platformers of the 1990’s. You must choose your starting level from a story book and then make your way through it, completing jumping puzzles and defeating enemies as you go. Each of the stages are fairly linear but as you progress you will increasingly find levels with hidden areas and collectables.20161018182449_1As you travel you will begin to encounter a wider array of enemies and learn new attacks and abilities. There is a small skill tree for you to explore and three different “Aegis” to collect that you can switch between that affect the way you attack. Although it is worth noting that Pankapu is episodic and the second part has not currently been released, so you cannot yet access every ability and Aegis. You will also come across heart pieces, which will give you more maximum life when you collect enough to assemble a full one.

Pankapu himself does not speak, so you will quickly acquire a companion called Chii who does all the speaking for you and narrates where you should be going and what you should be doing. Unfortunately, Chii speaks a little too much. Fans of the Zelda series will already know how annoying it is to have a little flying creature constantly interrupting your play to tell you useless information.20161018182433_2Chii wouldn’t be too bad if she actually gave you useful information occasionally. Instead, she tells you the answer to the most basic of puzzles, without even giving you a chance to do it for yourself, and leads you around by the nose. “The path is blocked, maybe we should climb this random mountain instead for no apparent reason.” And lo and behold, on top of the mountain is a shrine that gives you the ability to unblock paths. Who ever could have guessed that? It would be amusing in its childlike simplicity, if it wasn’t so god damn annoying. “Your path is blocked by a river, oh no!” Hmm, What should I do n… Oh, Chii just happens to have found an item that will let her turn into a boat… Of course.20161018182240_1All of the gameplay itself is very smooth, with all your jumps and attacks flowing together nicely, without feeling jerky or unnatural like some other similar titles. Although the fact that you stay hovering in the air whilst attacking mid jump takes a little while to acclimatize to. Combat by itself tends to be fairly easy. You will quickly discover how to beat new enemies, identify their weak spots and when to defend. It is the mixture of jumping puzzles, dangerous obstructions and enemies that attack you in the air, or as you land, that help to keep the game challenging. Although experienced players of platformers will probably still breeze through most things.


Whilst it would be easy to dismiss Pankapu as childish or simple, you would be doing yourself, and this title, a disservice. Some of the characters may be downright infuriating and there may not be much in the way of mechanics innovation, but with all the elements of a classic retro platformer, and a beautifully crafted world with gorgeous graphics and music to go with it, you will find Pankapu to be a genuinely nice, upbeat game that anyone can really enjoy.20161018191608_1

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Pankapu - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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