Classic Retro Video Game Reviews

Panda's Stuntman -Atari 2600
Retro Gaming Review

Atari 2600 VCS console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game ReviewPanda's Stuntman for Atari 2600 Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Title: Panda's Stuntman
Manufacturer: Panda
Platform: Atari 2600
Release Date: 1983
Part #: 105
Rating: 1.5 out of 5
ESRB Rating: N/A

Rating: Classic Retro Video Game Review Rating
Panda's Stuntman Screenshot:
Panda's Stuntman for Atari 2600 screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

When a game literally involves "beating something with a stick" I'm all over it! That's one of my favorite phrases, so seeing it in Stuntman's manual definitely made me smile. However, that was the end of my smiling as far as this game is concerned.

It's game play seemed rather diverse, but the control felt pretty bad. I'll admit I was playing this via the Stella emulator, but I found the control for jumping and for transferring from one rope to another awful. The upside to this title (like all Panda 2600 games) is it's rarity. They made few games and most were copies of existing game ideas. If you find it on a cartridge and with the box, you've made a good find!

Stuntman Game play

The manual doesn't give any story arc for Stuntman, but makes references to him escaping and being rescued. This game is very similar to a Sancho game titled Nightmare. It seems as though it was blatantly copied and given a new story line. The similarity is bizarre

Holy shit! Check this out...
I'm guessing there must be a great backstory to the similarity of Panda's games and those from other devs.
"Similarity" in the case of Stuntman and Nightmare is not the right term. Stuntman appears to be a direct rip-off. Others have said that Panda made poor games - most of which were rip-offs of existing titles.

You begin Stuntman with 4 lives and a need to climb moving ropes and ultimately reach a helicopter at the top of the screen. As you try to lim upward, there are a variety of enemies that will do their best to deter you. A snake roams the bottom of the screen. Your only choice is to avoid him. As you climb the ropes, birds will knock you off the ropes if they touch you. Avoiding them becomes problematic when everything is in motion.

A variety of enemies appear as you reach upper levels. You begin with the birds who will knock you off the ropes. You will also encounter Devil Faces and balloons. Each enemy/obstacle is handled differently. The Devil Faces must be beaten with a stick - loved it! They turn into birds which must be avoided as before. The Balloons must be grabbed by their string and navigated back to the bottom of the screen.

There are six speeds to the game that can be selected via the Selection Switch - it defaults to the slowest speed unless changed. You'll find 9 levels of varying numbers of enemies, but I'm not sure too many gamers will endure this game long enough to get to those upper levels. Poor control really hurts this game - not to mention it's similarity to Nightmare.

Atari 2600 VCS console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Final Judgement:

Panda's Stuntman

There are too many quirks to this game for me to recommend it. From the rip-off element to poor control, I could see the challenge and diversity if offers, but no way to really enjoy it. I like the idea behind this game, but I felt much of the challenge was due to bad control options.

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