Story: Omnia is a beautiful land of dreams, but this tranquil locale is under attack from mysterious dark forces. This is no simple invasion either, as these forces threaten the entire existence of Omnia, so action is needed soon. If the realm falls to these outsiders, things will never be the same and no one is sure how far reaching the damage could be once it is in ruins. But Omnia needs a savior and with no other options at hand, one is created from the very essence of dreams, a warrior known as Pankapu. A sword and some armor are the tools Pankapu has to battle the dark forces, but perhaps with some success, new weapons and stronger armor can be located, just enough to turn the tide back against the invaders. With the fate of Omnia in the balance, will you be able to guide Pankapu to victory?
Entertainment Value: This is a side scrolling action/platformer set in a world of dreams, making Pankapu quite a visual feast. The graphics are a stunner, with gorgeous levels to soak in and some terrific character designs. So as soon as you start up the game, Pankapu reels you in with the art style, then makes sure you stay hooked with some crisp, fun game mechanics. The game starts off with some simple elements, you have a sword to fight with, a shield to block with, and you need to navigate various platform based aspects of each level. This can mean basic jumps, obstacle avoidance, and learning some timed portions of the levels. In truth, these are obviously elements we have seen before countless times, but Pankapu makes sure it all works like a fluid machine, so these familiar platform elements are razor sharp here. The controls are rock solid and never prove to be even a minor concern, with even the most hair raising moments feeling like you’re right on point. This is great news because while Pankapu isn’t as demanding as some platformer games, it does push a little here and there. The combat is basic, but does evolve as you progress and forces you to make some tough choices.
For example, you earn various alternate abilities and items, but you can only have so many equipped at once. A bow and arrow offers effective long range combat, but a sword ensures close up action is a breeze, while a double jump might make moving around easier, at the cost of losing precious defense. If you want to make the most of these abilities, you will need to get used to swapping on the fly, which takes a bit to get down, but does work well. So if you’re struggling in a specific area, try out some other combinations until you find the right mix. The level design also evolves, from simple, straight forward early stages to multi-path adventures down the road, which means exploration becomes a component as well. As you check around every corner, you can collect various special items and even some upgrades. But that isn’t the lone source of replay value, as Pankapu also offers up a time trial mode, so you can test your speed run skills in these wild levels. So this proves to offer some great value, with a super fun campaign and ample replay elements. If you’re a fan of action/platformer games, Pankapu is one you don’t want to miss.