Exclusive: Pastry Panic Hands-on Preview

Having spent some hands-on time with Pastry Panic, Underground Pixel’s follow-up to their Chrimbo-themed hit, Holiday Havoc, I’m delighted to report it’s shaping up to be yet another tasty treat for retro-loving iOS gamers.

Much like its predecessor, Pastry Panic evinces its creators’ fondness for classic video games of yesteryear — particularly those of the NES-era — with a delightfully simple gameplay hook, gorgeous pixel art graphics and toe tappingly awesome chiptunes. Unlike the rather bare-bones Holiday Havoc though, this one crams in multiple gameplay modes, tons of unlockables and Game Center-powered goodies like leaderboards and achievements.

The frantic action in Pastry Panic revolves around a totally bonkers and totally brilliant premise: you play as an adorable little dinosaur who’s been hired by a confectionery factory to scurry along their conveyor belts gobbling up stray nuts, bolts and other bits of scrap metal so as they don’t clog up the machinery and bring production grinding to a halt.

Pastry Panic‘s gameplay comes in two flavors: ‘Mad Dash’ and ‘Tongue Tied’. The former tasks you with leaping between conveyor belts and quickly munching as many pesky pieces of scrap metal as possible. You can also chow down on pastries for extra points and Underground Pixel throw a bunch of power-ups (and power-downs) into the fray to make things more interesting. The game’s secondary mode, ‘Tongue Tied’, is a slightly more laid-back affair; Dino remains stationary here and you tap the screen to use his frog-like stretchy tongue to grab passing pastries. The game will also come packing an iPad-exclusive ‘hardcore mode’.

Beyond all that, there’s a hat shop where you can splash your in-game cash on decking lil’ Dino out in a fine array of silly headgear, hidden easter eggs to unlock (I already discovered a pair of neat night vision goggles!), and the aforementioned Game Center stuff. In other words, Underground Pixel have upped their game considerably in terms of providing fun extras and unlockables for players to work towards, and as a result Pastry Panic feels like a much more fully-fledged and well-rounded game than Holiday Havoc.

Underground Pixel are planning to release Pastry Panic on May the 31st 24th at the special introductory price of 99¢. Check back then for a full review, and in the meantime be sure to follow the developer’s Twitter feed for more info. (The video I’ve embedded below looks to be of an earlier, less polished build of Pastry Panic than the version I’ve been playing, but it should still give you a decent taste what to expect gameplay wise.)