Pink Panther Pinkadelic Pursuit is a 2.5D platformer developed by Étranges Libellules, who closed in 2012. Due to the passing of Uncle Pink, the titular main character is entitled to his home, but most importantly the treasures in his attic. Of course, the attic is locked and requires a dozen keys, spread around the world and even in different time periods!
Developer: Étranges Libellules
Released: 13 November 2002
Platforms: PlayStation 1, Windows
Available on: Second-hand physical
Starting at Uncle Pink’s house with a singular key, you traverse to the game’s different locales. The Panther has the staple move set of a typical platformer like jumping, spin attacks, and picking up items and coins. He also has health, and if you lose all of it, you’ll simply be sent back to the last checkpoint. However, finishing the levels isn’t a straight run into its exit. You must do a couple of things before you can come out victorious, such as blowing up walls or finding hamburgers for vicious dogs, with all necessary steps conveniently shown while the game is loading.
While the game’s alternative take on platforming already feels refreshingly different, Pinkadelic Pursuit takes it a step further. All regular levels require you to steal an item from someone and deliver it somewhere else, inevitably getting the person you’re stealing from to start chasing you. Your pursuer will stop at nothing to try and snatch the item back from you, so better be quick on your feet, take shortcuts whenever possible, and even disguise yourself as part of the scenery in true cartoon fashion! Sadly, the other enemies do nothing but go left and right and cause you to lose health if you don’t dispatch them early.
The pursuit aspect of the game is exhilarating (made even more so thanks to the chase music playing) and adds a nice contrast to the otherwise laid-back platforming. In addition to the regular levels, there are also a couple of nonstandard ones such as boss fights and skating, which don’t have the steal-and-chase elements to them but still add a bit of challenge. The game also has time records for each of its levels, so you can try speedrunning it, but retrying requires you to quit the level, sit through a loading screen, then start it again and sit through another loading screen.
Artstyle and Audio
The transition from Pink Panther’s origins as a 2D cartoon to a sort-of-3D world was pulled off quite smoothly unlike other 3D adaptations of western animation and is quite pleasing to look at, even though you’ll never see more than the Panther’s sides. The art in general manages to capture the feeling of a cartoon quite well with its light shades and colorful backgrounds. The excellent jazzy soundtrack is a soothing listen, though it gets even better when you steal an item as it quickly takes on a frantic turn that pumps up the adrenaline.
Pink Panther Pinkadelic Pursuit is surprisingly creative for a videogame adaptation of a cartoon. The gameplay challenges you to memorize the layout to find the shortest route from an item to your destination, the visuals are delightful, and the music is top-notch. I recommend the game if you’re having an itch for retro games and have about four hours to burn.