AlexPanda HD Review

By , on April 12, 2011

AlexPanda HD
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • Cute visual style; smooth, vibrantly colorful designs.
  • Easy to pick up and play.


  • Physics at odds with the gameplay; rubber-band tether adds more frustration than challenge.
  • Odd collision detection; hard to rely on visual cues.
  • Limited content; premium purchase for demo content.


If you can dedicate some time to working out its quirky physics, AlexPanda can be a fun game, but being provided with no other choice but an an in-app purchase to unlock the rest of the content is mercenary on a level not quite yet seen on the App Store.

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Don't be fooled by its cute exterior - AlexPanda by Lakoo is the video game equivalent of a weapon designed for the soul-purpose of getting you to whip out your wallet. Should you take the plunge in to this cute, vibrantly presented arcade challenge, you'll need to take on the task of rescuing AlexPanda by dragging him through numerous hazards to the safe location on each level.

Things start out easily enough as your panda is manipulated by touching and dragging him around the screen. An energy bar quickly depletes while you're holding him, regenerating while your finger is off the screen, adding a touch of skill to the gameplay in trying to juggle AlexPanda mid-air to regenerate energy without killing him. Sadly this is made all the more difficult by a physics system that drags the panda via a 'rubber band'-like effect and quick maneuvers are punished swiftly as he careens in to various deadly traps. Not satisfied that it's difficult enough? Try juggling Alex while avoiding touching anything while also dealing with a collision detection system that doesn't make any sense as some objects and enemies require full contact while others merely sneeze in your direction to make you die.

The frustration can be quickly compounded if you have a compulsion to finish the levels with its equivalent of '3-stars', however levels can be completed by simply placing AlexPanda on the exit. This does have the unfortunate side-effect of cutting the game short at 20 levels, but should you be willing to fork out even more cash you can unlock additional levels.

The mercenary way in which you're forced to pay even more to get the full amount of content despite having already paid a premium for what is essentially only a demo covering the first area leaves a distinctly bitter taste. It's an odd way to treat the customer when the gameplay is already questionable, making it a hard game to recommend to anyone without realizing its full cost before jumping in.


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