Don't Mess With Panda's HobNobs
Keep Panda out of trouble and liberate his beloved biscuits from the paws of evil in Panda Tactical Sniper. Aside from testing your speed and accuracy, this shooting game is sprinkled with logic puzzles to tickle your brain. The controls are as simple as it gets, just use your handy mouse to aim and shoot at targets. Just don't shoot those biscuits!
According to Panda, he is a ruthless, terrifying animal capable of much bloodshed, but we know better. He's actually scared of ghosts, is too short to reach the top of the refrigerator and will do anything to get his biscuits back from Lion, leader of the notorious Carnie gang. You, on the other hand, get to use your sniping powers for the good of our furry hero.
You get a mission briefing before each level. Though Panda Tactical Sniper is a shooting game, the developers did place considerable effort into making each stage unique. There are missions that ask you to set Panda free, which may be as simple as shooting at a cage's iron bars or as tricky as going through a whole shooting gallery. At times you will need to assist the hungry hero in sneaking into houses or maximum security compounds. There's no way around it, you are basically Panda's accessory to crime.
Because each level places you in a different setting, you must take note of the finer details per situation. Like, for example, there are an unspecified number of shots you can fire before waking up the whole neighborhood. Or, shoot the wrong wire and you could accidentally activate the vault's self-destruct sequence. If you don't want to say bye-bye to those biscuits, you better keep your head in the game. Saving HobNobs is serious business.
In case you ever want to skip to a certain stage, you may do so by heading to the Main Menu and inputting the level code. This is found at the bottom of each mission briefing and acts essentially like one of those NES level passwords. Unfortunately, this doesn't give you your hard earned cash back so sorry, no insta-purchase in the Spy Shop for you.
Speaking of the Spy Shop, you earn in-game money after successfully beating a level. There are a total of four items you may purchase, with varying levels of usefulness. For the laughs, you may get the Cool Sunglasses but going for the more expensive Cunning Disguise, Faster Reload or Steady Hand upgrades may be more advantageous. Taking costs into consideration though, you may already be adept at sniping by the time you can afford the latter two. We really wish the upgrades either stuck to the customization route or made a few useful skills more easily obtained. But, this is a minor issue as the upgrade system works as it is and the game can be finished without purchasing any of the add-ons.
Like Panda's Big Adventure, Panda Tactical Sniper is all about its witty delivery. The game's situational puzzles offer just enough quirks to keep things interesting. The accuracy required in some levels is surprisingly challenging and even failing a mission is entertaining thanks to the humorous writing. Shooting is a bit sluggish on a standard net book, but it is something that can be adjusted to. Also, the upgrade system could use a few tweaks here and there but we do appreciate the variety of its selections.
If you like mind bending shooting games that place importance on accuracy, we definitely recommend checking out Panda Tactical Sniper (otherwise you may wish to hop over to www.sifthead.net for the other type) to see if you can save Panda's HobNobs without waking the whole neighborhood.