Hamster Corp. is pulling another oddity out of its big bag of retro games for this week's Arcade Archives release, as Nichibutsu's old-school shmup Tube Panic returns on Nintendo Switch.
Released back in 1984, Tube Panic is not dissimilar to Atari's 1981 release Tempest, and sees the player rotate around the circumference of a metal tube, firing "into" the screen at waves of UFO's and pseudo-TIE Fighters that mercilessly barrel toward our hero. Nichibutsu's unique spin on the idea was to give the illusion that the ship was hurtling through these tubes at speed which, while very impressive for its day, results in dizzying visual effects.
I don't personally suffer from motion-sickness when gaming, but I have to admit that video of the action definitely makes my eyes go a little ga-ga. It started with just mild discomfort, but as the video progressed - and the stages moved from tubes to rings - things got really weird on the old noodle. I'd warn those sensitive to repetitive patterns and strobing effects not to check out gameplay footage.
I can appreciate the smarts that went into programming such smooth and speedy motion. It's very impressive from a technical standpoint. But in reality... bleurgh.
Tube Panic is available to download now on Nintendo Switch, priced at around $8.