I had a Sega CD as a kid, but I never had many games for it. The system never really seemed to take off. I think I had three or four games, but I can’t say I ever noticed much of a difference between it and the Genesis. Looking back, I wish I had the chance to play, ‘Panic!’

The premise of the game was vaguely similar to Kid Chameleon. Kinda, sorta. Or maybe Tron. Inasmuch as it involved entering into a computer system. I guess that’s really all it has in common with either game, so the analogies are kind of terrible. Forget all of that. The premise of Panic! is that a virus has infected computer systems around the world. You, a young boy named Slap, and your dog named Stick, must restore order to the network. 

In some ways, you could argue that Panic! isn’t even a video game. The levels were rooms with different buttons you could push. Each button began a series of actions which you observed through an animation sequence. Some of them were booby trapped. Certain buttons would move you along in the right direction, others might move you back to a room you had already visited. Others might blow up the Eiffel tower. 

Here is how the game manual described how to CORRECTLY play the game:

  • Sit back and relax. Enjoy the funny screens. 
  •  Laugh at the funny gags. What will happen next? 
  • You can save the game if you get tired. 
  • Keep your eyes on the game. 
  • All up-left buttons (switches) have gags. 

There are apparently over 1,000 gags in the game and they are all decidedly bizarre. If you’re familiar with the SNL character Stefon, well this is the sort of world he would describe. I mean, this game has everything. There are mutants. Little people. Vacuums that suck the color out of the world. And don’t look now, but is that George Clinton of Parliament? No, it’s the Mona Lisa with her eyes popping out and a tiny little man crawling out of her blouse.

I think that pretty much tells you everything you need to know about this game. 

Until next time, I remain…

Just Another Geek in the Geek Kingdom

Shaun Jex Shaun Jex (124 Posts)

Shaun Jex is a lifelong gamer, a journalist, and pop culture historian.His love of video games began with a Commodore 64 he played growing up, late night sessions on his NES, Game Boy and Sega Genesis, and frequent trips to the local Tilt arcade. He edits the Citizens' Advocate newspaper in Coppell, Texas and writes about Disney and Walt Disney World history for Celebrations Magazine and the Celebrations Magazine blog. He runs a weekly vlog called "The MCP" dedicated to retro video games, and a channel with his wife Kara called "The Marceline Depot," dedicated to Disney, amusement parks, and travel.