Pretty Girls Panic! PLUS (PS4, PS5, Switch, PC)

Play a classic styled arcade game to reveal pictures of anime ladies in Pretty Gals Panic! PLUS.  It’s very similar to Pretty Girls Panic, which I reviewed recently, but adds new graphics, characters, and gameplay mechanics.  It’s available on PlayStation consoles, Switch, and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

So basically, this game plays just like Qix, a classic Taito arcade game from the early 80s.  In that game you had to draw lines to form squares, and when you did it would fill in the square and would give you a percentage of territory you covered.  But you had to avoid enemies that would destroy you if they touched you or your line before finishing a square.  In Pretty Girls Panic, if you get 75 percent or more of your squares on the screen, you’ll finish the level and reveal a picture of an anime lady in a swimsuit or other outfit.  Oddly enough, there was a Qix-like arcade game with the same idea called Gals Panic that gained some notoriety because of that.

While the first game had an underwater theme, this one has characters from myths and legends.  You control a monkey on a cloud similar to the Journey to the West story, for instance.  You’ll avoid enemies that bounce around, hone in on you, ones that follow your line, and others that fire projectiles at you.  If you touch a power-up or wrap a square around one, you can temporarily stop time, or get extra speed or invincibility.  You get bonus points for bigger squares or if you make a square with an enemy inside.  New to PLUS are fields that can slow you down, speed you up, keep you from moving, or kill you outright.

You can start back from any stage you’ve finished, as well as view the ladies and outfits you’ve unlocked in the gallery.  You can change settings in the options screen, like the difficulty, which either gives you four or six lives per level.  And you can read how to play in Help.  If you look at just the core gameplay itself, I actually liked it because it’s Qix but not quite as hard and less nerve-wracking.  It would’ve been nice if there was an option to turn off the anime ladies in the background if that bothers people, but otherwise that’s the only problem I had with it, aside from the annoying polka dot backgrounds.  It was also pretty easy to get all the trophies, as I ‘platinumed’ it in one sitting!

Kid Factor:
Pretty Girls Panic! PLUS is rated M for Mature with ESRB descriptors of Partial Nudity and Sexual Themes.  The busty anime ladies are seen in bikinis and other outfits, but that’s about it.  As mentioned before, if there were an option to turn that off, this game would be safe for kids then.  But as it stands now, it’s best for older players only.

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