|Min OS X: 10.6|
Requirements:Mac OS X 10.6 or higher
Review:Ever since the first Flash game involving throwing cannonballs at castles hit the scene, there have been many imitators. Some have had major success, like Angry Birds, but few others have received even a lick of attention. However, with the release of PAN Vision's Pirates vs Ninjas vs Zombies vs Pandas (PNZP), more appear to be entering the Mac market. The only real question is whether the influx of demolition games will be worth their cost.
In this case, PNZP is at least worth checking out. It follows the formula for the genre pretty closely and it generally has well-designed levels. Shot types are slowly revealed, different obstacles are added, and levels unlock as you gather the obligatory bonus stars. There aren't really that many obstacles, sadly, but there's at least enough to keep you busy for an hour or two here or there. You'll at least have the full range of worlds relatively quickly, as the star requirement for each one is pretty low.However, the worlds themselves don't really feel that different. Aside from being unable to use the units for the side you're currently attacking, each one tends to play the exact same way. None of the levels pose a particularly strong challenge, so the process for winning is simple. Identify the weakpoints of the structure, pick the shot that takes care of that the easiest, and keep firing until you land it perfectly. On the levels that have friendlies (at least half), don't hurt them on the way by. It really isn't that hard.
There are also a few tiny issues with the experience. For one, the intro for the game doesn't even play inside the game itself. It opens a web browser and has you watch it on Youtube. There also isn't a visible option for resizing the game window or make it full screen, which is a pain on most large resolutions. While it does look reasonably good in the 1/3 of the screen it takes up, there shouldn't be a reason why you're forced to change your computer's resolution to get a reasonably-sized game window. Of course, if you look in the window menu while the game is running, there's a selection for making the game full screen, but it's not mentioned anywhere ingame and is easy to overlook for numerous playthroughs.
On the sound side, there are a few decent music themes and the usual array of grunts, squeaks, screams, and so on. PNZP is definitely borrowing heavily from Angry Birds in this respect. Still, there isn't really anything that sets it apart. All the sound and music is good, but it isn't anything you won't have seen before if you tend to play demolition games. If nothing else, it would at least be nice to have a little ambient noise and foreground/background art in addition to the few static backgrounds already there.
Long story short, this is a decent demolition game. It isn't the best, but it's far from the worst. If you've already beaten all of Angry Birds and are looking for more, you can definitely do worse than Pirates vs Ninjas vs Zombies vs Pandas. Is it worth $5? Well, that depends entirely on whether you like this style of game. If you want some casual demolition fun that'll last you for a few hours, pick it up. If not, go with the alternative.
Pros: Offers some casual demolition fun
Cons: Doesn't add anything new to the genre