Panic Restaurant

Another game by the makers of such bizarre NES games as Bubble Bobble, Panic Restaurant is a side-scrolling platform hopper, not unlike the Super Mario Bros. series.  In this particular twist on a familiar game style, you play as a chef who fights off various food-themed enemies with a fairly bizarre set of weaponry - frying pans, spoons, and forks to name a few.

Bouncing carrots and legged eggs are no match for a good cast-iron skillet

A gigantic grinning popcorn-launching frying pan might require some heavier artillery, though

Pounding enemies into submission nets you coins, which can be used in the end-stage minigame; basically a big slot machine that nets you prizes when you make a winning roll.  Landing three candies in a row, for example, will extend your chef's life gauge, enabling him to take an extra hit before croaking.  Also available are extra lives and large amounts of points.  Not sure what landing three purple X's in a row will do, though.

Beware the rolling pizzas and dancing puddings as you reach for your goal

You can't hurt me! Not with my pan helmet!

Panic Restaurant's mode of invincibility, the "pan helmet," causes your chef to spin around, clobbering anything he comes into contact with.  Like all unstoppable super-weapons, though, it's life is limited, wearing off after about ten seconds.

One of the game's more useless weapons, the bouncing fork.  Basically, if you jump on something, it destroys it.  If you're slightly off, though, you take damage and are back down to the mediocre fry-pan.

Another of the game's weird bosses, a bouncing green oven that launches live chickens.  The chickens can be swatted away with any conventional weapon, but the oven may be difficult to avoid; when it approaches your character, stay near the edge of the room and you should be able to dodge it by either running under it or staying in the corner as it bounces off the wall.

This is another of Panic Retaurant's mini-games, Catch the Fish.  You basically try to grab fish as they leap from the water, but if you slip up and grab a black fish, it explodes and you lose.

Okay, I'm not very good at this.

Rating: 7/10
One-line Synopsis: If you're a fan of Taito or platformers, you'll probably enjoy Panic Restaurant.

©2003 Spoony