Another excellent game from freeware developer Yamada No Ana Project, who is dedicated to producing games based around the same cast of characters, led by Doka-chan, a stubby construction worker, and his friends. Like all other games from this group, the game is 100% English, boasts excellent music, offers a 2-player hotseat mode, and allows you to change the controls.
Building Panic is a unique combination of the board game Othello and arcadey action. You control Yamada, a construction worker who is tasked with covering windows with blue wallpaper. There are competing construction workers who roam the building, covering windows with orange wallpaper. Once all the windows have been covered, you will "win" the level and go to the next one if you managed to cover more windows than them.
The similarity with Othello lies in the fact that you can convert orange windows into blue ones by surrounding them on two sides. As in the board game, you can do this from any direction: horizontal, vertical, and diagonal. Of course, your opponents will be doing the same thing, so it's imperative that you are faster than they are, and plan your moves strategically.
The action element in the game is no less fun. You will lose health if you run into anyone. You can get rid of guys either by shooting them horizontally, or bumping your head on the ceiling whenever someone's directly above you. There are many power-ups, ranging from hammers (make your shots more powerful), boots (make you faster), gloves (allow you to cover each window with one move - normally you can only cover 1/3 of the window at a time), and many more. Needless to say, later levels include more and tougher opponents and introduce different gimmicks (for example, a level may start with half of the windows already covered in orange). The combination of strategy, action, and puzzle elements is very well concocted. You will constantly have to be on your toes, plan your moves, and adjust your tactics according to what the other guys do.
The only game by Ryuuto Yamada so far to have been published as a boxed shareware title in Japan (see box shot above), Building Panic is an addictive, original, and well-designed game that will keep you occupied for hours on end, whether or not you're a fan of reflex-based puzzle games, Othello, or action titles. Two thumbs up, way up!Reviewed by: Underdogs