Game: Panty Explosion
Publisher: Atarashi Games
Reviewer: Travis Brown
Review Dated: 25th, July 2006
Reviewer’s Rating: 8/10 [ Really good ]
Total Score: 8
Average Score: 8.00
PANTY EXPLOSION!…. ok now that I have your attention… ahem…
A clever title to be sure, but not quite what you would expect by hearing it. This is quite a fun game in its design and mechanics, not to mention its mythos. The Japanese sub culture’s popularity seems to be stretching beyond the normal Otaku masses (Japanese equivalent of dorks and geeks). Panty explosion greatly helps to break the barrier of ignorance into this largely glanced over sub culture. The game makes it easy to understand the archetypical elements that make up the world of anime, and then sets you loose in this great and intuitive game.
The mechanics are simple, streamlined, yet very open. The game is focused entirely around your character’s development and how they will react to the story being told. In fact how they react and what the outcome is, is entirely dependant on the personality of the character and the attributes they have, which are defined by many cultural iconic elements such as the Godai, the Junishi, Blood types and various other traits that define the girl’s motivations and characteristics…. oh yes, you play a girl; a skirt wearing, Japanese schoolgirl who must struggle through the mundane world of being a teenager, working in time with friends between school work, transit time, secondary school, and the loads of studying you do, not to mention the demonic and ghostly forces and secret government agents that track you and your friends on a daily basis… oh did I forget to mention that you and/or some of your friends are psychic? well it certainly will make your life interesting, yet no good can ultimately come of it as it destroys your life in the process of trying to understand the nature of your powers.
The game is ultimately a creative and open ended journey through the many aspects of the sub culture such as having life long friendships or rivalries, a long lost relative who comes back after years, the constant need to make your group of friends overcome another in every kind of competition imaginable, struggling to be a good student and please the adults around you, avoiding that school bully and striving to show them that you are no longer afraid. The actions you take will be described not by the Superintendent (the game master), but rather your worst enemy (who describes your failures) and your best friend (who describes your successes). The nature of what you can do and how you can do it is so open it extends beyond mere mechanics and makes for a truly immersive and ever changing game where you continually are trying to one up your foes at every exchange.
I’d say try our Panty explosion, it’s well worth the time spent for the teenage schoolgirls in skirts, and the title alone!
NOTE: I did a proofread on a early copy of this product for the Author Jake Richmond, and did a piece of artwork but was entirely uninvolved in the development of the mechanics.