When all was said and done, I felt very pleased. Working through puzzles (and even brute forcing a few) occasionally made my head pound, but Pan-Pan made it very clear to me that challenges are temporary. But if you keep trying, push hard enough, and persevere? There’s a wonderful world waiting for you.
It’s utterly beautiful, and it sounds so wonderful, but in the end it feels too hollow. As a piece of visual art it deserves extensive celebration. As a game, it needed to be slightly more: slightly more purposeful, slightly more involved, slightly more communicative.
PAN-PAN is a lovely little game to get sucked into - oozing with charm and a handful of quirky characters to meet along the way. There's admittedly little replay value other than to re-explore the lush planet and solve the puzzles in a quicker, smoother manner, and while the environmental puzzles might range from frustratingly obtuse to organically wonderful, the planet rewards your time and exploration. Once the credits roll and after everything you've achieved, it will be almost impossible not to reflect positively on your short but sweet journey.
Pan-Pan may provide a short journey in the end, but it’s definitely worth setting out on.
Pan-Pan runs around two hours of playtime, so, for some, the price tag of £9.99/$12.99 might seem a bit steep. However, its unique puzzles, relaxed atmosphere, wonderful graphics and 3D world are what make it worth it. Lets hope that developers like Might and Delight continue to collaborate with these small projects and help them come to life and that Spelkraft continues to create more peaceful gaming experiences.
With so much being left to rely on the player’s intuition, PAN-PAN won’t be an experience for everyone – its unfettered ambition coming at the risk that, despite its short length, many may not persist to see it through to the credits. But, those that choose to persevere with this tiny big adventure will be thankful for their chance to trek around a world that has been built with endearing charm. And, there’s a chance that you may start to feel less guilty as a result.