There were losers, and then there was Panda.....
Charlotte, NC based Panda Corporation is one of the least known of
the third party publishers that released games for the 2600... and
for good reason. Not only did their games hit the market during
the crash of 1984, but their games were, for the most part,
completely forgettable, with many of their games being ripoffs of
other games with hacked sprites.
Tank Brigade was a cheap ripoff of Zimag's Tanks
but no Tanks; Harbor Escape was River Raid with
slight cosmetic differences; Space Canyon was a carbon
copy of Space Cavern by Apollo. Even their "original"
creations were poor. Dice Puzzle was bad excuse for a
puzzle game and Scuba Diver had the player go on a boring
underwater treasure hunt.
Another interesting fact is that many of the Panda games were also
published by two other companies! Froggo released Sea Hunt
(Scuba Diver) and Sea Hawk, while a European company called
Sancho brought Sea Hawk, Skin Diver (Scuba Diver) and Dice
Puzzle to the continent. Two games that were announced but unreleased also
wound up in Europe by Sancho: Forest and Nightmare.
It is debatable as to which company originally created these games, but we're
not sure that either of them would appreciate the credit given to them because
of the poor quality of the games.
Trying to collect Panda carts is an exercise in frustration. Many of
their cart labels are oversized and do not properly fit on their cart
cases! That's right, it's not unusual to come across Panda games
with their end labels hanging over the cartridges themselves. In
addition, some games have full labels while others only have end
labels (if they haven't fallen off first).
- 100 Space Canyon
- 101 Tank Brigade
- 102 Baseball (not released)
- 103 Galactic Invaders (not released)
- 104 Scuba Diver
- 105 Stunt Man
- 106 Dice Puzzle
- 107 Conservation -- The Watt Way (not released)
- 108 Sea Hawk
- 109 Exocet
- 110 Harbor Escape
- 112 Shuttle Rescue (not released)
- 113 Midnight Rider (not released)