A new Genesis/Mega-Drive action game, Rocket Panda, hits Kickstarter; passes its base goal

Another brand-new Genesis/Mega-Drive game has launched on Kickstarter, with the goal of raising funds to finance its development. Rocket Panda, a game developed by Space Pants Games and Mega Cat Studios, is now crowdfunding on Kickstarter and has 18 days left in its campaign. It has also just passed its $15,000 USD goal, so it seems that this is all but locked in, although there is still a stretch goal of $25,000 USD to add an as-of-now unspecified mini-game.

The game puts you in control of the titular Rocket Panda, who must navigate different mazes while avoiding traps and bizarre enemies in order to find the exit. Along the way, you’ll encounter and rescue little badgers to accompany you to the exit, similar to Flicky, Gain Ground, or Sega’s Sonic 3D Blast, except that the badgers also serve as shields to protect you from attacks. As you’d expect, you’ll want to safely guide as many of these badgers to the exit as possible to earn a good score, so fly carefully either way. A demo is also available on the Kickstarter page for you to try right away.

But would you find this to be a game worth supporting with some cash? You can read on past the break and decide for yourself.

If you decide to fund Rocket Panda on Kickstarter, you may expect the typical rewards, including physical copies of the game cartridge in various states of completion. A mere $15 will get you a simple digital ROM file of the game. An early bird discount for the game cartridge alone costs $35, and there are still slots for that available right now. Otherwise, $40 will earn you the game cartridge. $50 gets you the complete package, including a box and manual, and from there, numerous special editions with additional items are available at higher prices. All this is detailed within the actual Kickstarter page, which also includes a download link for a demo ROM file of the game to try in your favorite Genesis emulator, on real Genesis hardware with a Mega Everdrive flash cartridge, or a MiSTer FPGA console.

Once again, though, I must remind people that Kickstarter is about crowdfunding a game still deep in development and should not be treated like a simple store. Anything can go wrong during development to complicate things. It actually happened very recently with the Kickstarter campaign for another indie Genesis game. We’re lucky that the game still came out and people had some recourse for receiving refunds in that case, cause that’s never a guarantee with crowdfunding. Of course, that doesn’t take away from crowdfunding campaigns that have resulted in a game coming out as promised, such as Xenocrisis or Henshin Engine, both of which are still on sale and have moved to even more platforms than they were originally made for due to their continuing success. Rocket Panda could go either way, so it’s up to you whether you find it to be worth the risk.

If you decided it is worth the investment, take a look at the Kickstarter page and figure out what amount you’re willing to pledge. Don’t forget to give that demo a playthrough too. Be sure also to follow Space Pants Games on Twitter (X) for more updates on development and check out their itch.io page to see their other developments for Genesis. (Would you believe Space Pants Games also worked on that Gunslugs Genesis port? I didn’t even know at the time I wrote about it here.)

Are you about to pledge to this Kickstarter? Are you sick and tired of me reminding you of the risks of crowdfunding yet? Tell us all about it in the comments below. It is free, after all.



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