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Land-a Panda is a port of a fun game from popular Flash game site, Miniclip.com, the same site that brought Fragger and Gravity Guy into this world. It’s a fairly simple puzzle game involving a lot of timing with great, colorful visuals and, of course, absolutely adorable pandas! It has some issues, like a flawed currency system that makes it hard to progress without in-app purchases, but otherwise it’s solid and worth playing.
Your goal in each level is to reunite the dude panda with his girlfriend panda. You do this by launching him all around the map using barrel cannons. Yep, this game takes the Donkey Kong Country barrel cannon mechanics and makes an entire game out of it. This has been done before, but here it’s done very well. All sorts of cannons are utilized, from auto-firing cannons to moving cannons and cannons that you can even aim yourself. You must avoid enemies and hazards on your way to the end of each level, and getting there is usually easy enough, but you’ll have to collect the three heart coins in any given level for a good challenge. It’s fairly tough to get them all sometimes, as one wrong move can really mess you up.
The controls are simple enough. You can either tap on a barrel to activate it, or toggle a simple action button to do everything from one spot. This approach is generally much easier, especially in situations that require timing. I just wish I could place the action button elsewhere, as the bottom center position is an awkward spot to have it on a large tablet. The only other issue with the game is the bamboo currency system. You’ll need large sums of bamboo to unlock new levels. Just playing and getting three coins per level was enough to unlock one set, but it’s not always so easy, and you’ll eventually have to grind or just unlock the full game through a one dollar in-app purchase. Oh yeah! The game is actually free initially, so there’s that, too. OpenFeint is fully supported, and this is generally a fun and simple game. There isn’t a lot to it, and it’s not always very engaging, but definitely good enough to recommend it.