Kaiju Panic is an awesome little game that’s full of character and vibrant colour. The game is essentially a blend of tower defense style gaming and real-time strategy.
Kaiju Panic has you play as the commander of an international rapid response unit tasked with collecting, protecting, and evacuating earth’s citizens as you hold back the attacking Kaiju.
When you first start a stage, you will need to build a harvesting building next to these giant purple crystals in order to collect resources to build your defenses. You slowly gather recruits that you have rescued and they follow around which reminded me a bit of Pikmin. The number of survivors helps boost your score, but the Kaiju can kill them. You can build defenses and structures to protect the people you save and also attempt to fend off the attackers. You recruit followers by walking up to them, but sometimes you have to do various tasks to get certain recruits. If you have civilians following you they can fix buildings or help build a tower quicker, mastering this is key to succeeding. Each survivor will add a stat boost to the structure, such as increased firing rates, more HP, and even buffs to the damage type. Between missions you will have the option to return to the lab where you are allowed to spend research points.
The Kaiju drop points during each stage. You can then spend this credit in the science labs to create defense structures or upgrade your bases. Unfortunately there aren’t many structures to choose from when upgrading. I feel that this would have improved the game.
The game can get fairly challenging at times due to the unpredictable waves and strength of enemies. Kaiju Panic’s focus on tactical base building and resource-gathering can feel less impactful when attacks are so unpredictable. Many times in Kaiju Panic, you’re pushed headfirst into an arena with Kaiju taking paths, which don’t make a whole lot of sense. This isn’t a major problem that really has much of a negative impact, but it would be better to feel rewarded for preparing successfully. Since you get very little information about what enemies attack when and where, you have to pretty much have to do a trial to see what you are up against.
My favourite part of the game was the strong aesthetics and overall presentation. The game is vibrant and bold and the attention to detail is awesome. The character design is cute and even the Kaiju have a playful design. The kaiju come in all different forms, which keeps the game fresh and exciting. There are small, bug like Kaiju and even giant Godzilla like beasts. I also really enjoyed the introduction story and mini cutscenes that are colourful and full of charm. The sound effects and music match the style of the game but there isn’t much variation. It would have been nice to see the soundtrack mixed up a bit as you progress.
Overall Kaiju Panic is a vibrant, quirky and at times frustrating little title with big monsters. The overall presentation is fantastic, the characters are cute and the Kaiju are varied which keeps things interesting. There is satisfaction collecting survivors and building defenses. The only drawback is the unpredictable difficulty, but this is just a minor gripe. There’s a surprising amount of depth to the game and it requires thought before each stage starts. I wouldn’t recommend this game to everyone but this is well worth your time if you like games such as The Wonderful 101, Pikmin or any tower defense/real-time strategy game.
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