Aqua Panic Review

Player(s): 1
Extra Features: Leaderboards

Aqua Panic is a puzzle game made by Eko Software where a player must guide fish and other aquatic life to safety. From the beginning of each stage, a player is introduced to a downward display of ledges and other obstacles. A player must choose from a variety of tools per stage to fix up the ledges and allow safe passage of the water that carries fish to finish the stage. The main goal is to drive the fish toward a certain point in the water that is away from the predators that are waiting to gobble them up.

The fish all start out in a big bubble-like jar at the top of the screen and a player is challenged to guide a certain amount of fish to safety per stage. A player can survey a full stage for any amount of time before beginning. Once a player presses the start button, the cascade of water with the fish begins to pour out from the water jar and a player must make quick decisions based on the survey of the stage beforehand.

A player has a whole variety of tools that can be used per stage. Each stage has a fixed selection of tools that are allowed for use. A bomb can be used to blow away part of a ledge and let the water through a gap. A vine plant can be planted into the ground to stop the water. The game also has several enemy types that can eat the fish. You'll have to find a means to avoid the fish predators by blocking off a direction so the water can't flow to that area or you can sometimes kill the predator with a hook on some stages. The bottom pool of water has several sharks in it that are chomping the whole time and waiting for the fish to drop.

There are also several environmental tools that can be used as well. Snail shells are sometimes placed in a stage. Orange shells allow the player to control the flow of water up above - a player can allow water through the shell or stop the water flow completely. There are also green shells that automatically let water through them in a fixed setting to which a player cannot control. In later levels an egg-shaped rock can be blown through a set of ledges to plug up some gaps.

Each stage constantly introduces new tools, predators and environmental objects. The stages can get quite brain bending after the 10th stage as it constantly throws new challenges and another fixed set of tools your way. The game has a total of 80 stages in adventure mode. Later into the game, it will actually start leaving fish out in the environment so a player must guide the water to those areas in order to catch the fish and bring them into the main pool of water below. Extra modes and other unlockables become available as the player progresses further into the game. The game has a main adventure mode, a free mode and a survival mode. Videos can be viewed in a theater mode as they are unlocked as well.