Solar Panic: Utter Distress – Review
Follow Genre: Comedy, Adventure
Developer: Barracuda Disaster
Publisher: Barracuda Disaster
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Solar Panic: Utter Distress – Review

Site Score
Good: Movie and game references
Bad: Humor meant for a specific audience
User Score
(2 votes)
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Rating: 1.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Ludicrous games have recently been more popular, making fun of popular tropes or just generally letting you do silly things. Some of the more well known silly games are Goat Simulator, South Park: Stick of Truth and Octodad, just to name a few. Recently a new game came out, called Solar Panic: Utter Distress, and the developers seem to also be aiming for the crazy and random genre. Right from the start, you’ll be thrown into a ridiculous story with weird-looking people. Humor is quite subjective, so having a game with humor and ridiculousness being its main appeal, might not be the easiest to pull off.


Solar Panic: Utter Distress’ story is incredibly random. You will play as Durwood Champney, a mercenary that works together with a dog and a compass. The story doesn’t follow a linear route, and you’ll often be left confused as to what is going on. From the description on the Steam page, it is clear that the developers never really meant for the story to be serious. They seem to be aiming more towards a game that makes fun of typical tropes in videogames. Even though there is a vague underlying story it is so random that even the conclusion doesn’t truly explain everything.


The graphics from Solar Panic: Utter Distress look alright at best. All the people that you see in the game have the same basic face structure with creepy big eyes. The only differences are in the hair, accessories, and clothing that the characters are wearing. Their faces are static and only their mouths move when you talk to them. Your companions, a dog, and a compass also look quite basic. The environments look better and more diverse than the people, but they are still not great looking. Solar Panic: Utter Distress looks graphically very outdated, even though it was released this year. You can interact with certain objects and people, but sometimes it can be a bit glitchy to find the right spot to interact.


The music in Solar Panic: Utter Distress is mostly environmental. You will pass by radios that play music but otherwise, it’s mostly ambient sounds that fill the game. There are a lot of sound effects, and they are mostly extremely silly sounds meant to make you laugh. They can, however, be over the top loud and unnecessary though. Voice acting is present in the game, but it mostly sounds like some friends came together and gave the characters ridiculous voices. Some voices are okay, but others aren’t great to listen to.


Solar Panic: Utter Distress is a ludicrous adventure game where you will go on missions as an ex-cop named Durwood Champney. You start on a spaceship bus, where you first meet your companions Bob the dog, and Mr. Constantine the compass. Bob just tells you of your missions, but Mr. Constantine will give you snide remarks as he tells you the objective during the mission. Since he is a compass, he also shows the direction where you need to go. However, it is never stated that he has this functionality and it might not be that clear from the start.

On the missions, there will be different big environments that you are able to explore. There are many gags hidden outside and inside buildings. You’re able to explore as much as you want and even get notified when you are leaving an area for good, so you get to explore more first if you want. There are also origami cranes that you can collect hidden in each environment.

A few times you’ll be able to use items, like a shotgun that shoots “tomato ketchup”. However, they disappear when you leave the environment and can’t return. All these items are key items and are related to the progression of the game, so you can’t pick up anything random. Doors in Solar Panic open quite abruptly and sometimes even knock you away a bit.

There are a lot of gags in Solar Panic: Utter Distress, as it is pretty much made up of them. Jokes are quite subjective so the game will only appeal to some audiences. If this game is not the kind of humor you would enjoy, then it doesn’t provide much more content then that. There are a lot of references to games and other popular media but mostly to make fun of them.


Solar Panic: Utter Distress looks aged and doesn’t have particularly appealing graphics, certainly the eyes of the characters will haunt you. To enjoy the game, you must enjoy the particular kind of humor the developers are bringing to the table. If you don’t enjoy those kinds of slapstick jokes then, unfortunately, Solar Panic: Utter Distress has nothing else to bring you, there is no serious story or impressive visuals that might pull you in. The game is also a bit pricey; so if you think you would enjoy this kind of humor, maybe wait for a sale first.

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Rating: 1.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Solar Panic: Utter Distress - Review, 1.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

The one and only slowqueen! -student multimedia-

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