26
May
14

Pango for DOS

Pango

Pango

Pango is an extremely old game for the original IBM PC written back in 1983 by Sheng-Chung Lui. It is a port of the Sega published arcade game Pengo that was made the year before. Instead of being a penguin like in the arcade game, you are a green blob. Your job is to hunt down and capture or squish the bees (yellow blobs) that are roaming around the level. You do this by kicking blocks at them or stunning them by kicking the wall when they are adjacent to it.

Game Elements

Game Elements

Being for the oldest type of PC the graphics support is only CGA and sound comes from the PC speaker. Both are ok for the time but not as nice as more polished games like Alley Cat. It was rather difficult getting Dosbox set up exactly right for this game as it doesn’t have nice timing code. I had to set the cycles down to 250 (you can change this up/down to suite you) and the machine type to CGA to get reasonable results. Other websites suggest about 500 cycles which is actually much faster than the normal 4.77Mhz PC which makes the game run too fast. I’d say the best way to play it would probably be on the original hardware, which I unfortunately don’t have.

First Novice level

First Novice level

Once I got it working I found it was pretty fun, although the control scheme had me confused and getting killed frequently. It is quite sensitive to how many cycles dosbox is set to, more cycles can make it quite difficult to stop where you want to. Once I got the right number of cycles with the aid of a DOS based benchmark utility it got much easier to play.  Then after I had some practise the game became much more fun.

In summary I think Pango is probably worth a look if you happen to own and old IBM PC, or are just curious about games from that era. Being from such an old machine means that the graphics and sound aren’t all that impressive, so fans of the arcade game will probably wish to emulate that instead.

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