Old CD’s: Games, Encyclopedia, Apps.

Reviews About Old Software on CD-ROM from the 1990’s

Panic In the Park February 19, 2009

Adventure & Mystery

Panic In the Park

One well-received game that leaves us relatively dry is Panic In the Park (WarnerActive/Imagination Pilots). Like 11th Hour, the game presents an overall mystery with many smaller stand-alone puzzles to be solved along the way. Solve a puzzle (or, in this case, win a game) and get a clue that brings you closer to understanding the big picture. The games themselves have little to do with the Big Mystery; they’re all variations on carnival games, and mostly involve shooting duck-type targets in a 3D environment, or rolling balls into the right holes while avoiding the wrong holes. Entertaining – for a couple of minutes. The fairground you wander around between games is classy, smooth-flowing 3D animation, and the people you meet are presented with humor. We would have preferred more of a straight take on the mystery, with an emphasis on the story instead of on a handful of simple, extraneous games. The creators of Panic could stand to take a cue from the homicide-solving CD-ROMs (e.g. SFPD: Homicide), which present a cogent mystery without breaking it down into unrelated menial tasks. Or they could take a cue from Bad Day on the Midway, in which character is king. Both approaches are preferable to the one taken here, which is halfway between mystery and arcade game, having hedged its bet on either side. The two star roles of Panic In the Park – twin sisters – are played by Erika Eleniak, Playboy-bunny-turned-commando in Under Seige, and Hasselhoff-oiling Baywatch beauty. Her clothes stay on, and her acting ability comes out; she’s actually not bad. Since Panic is turning into a bona-fide hit at the software stores, she’s sure to have plenty of work available in the future.

– February 1996

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