Space Panic: Classic Arcade Game Video, History & Game Play Overview


Designed and distributed by Universal, Space Panic originally debuted in 1980. The software used to create this game was also used by other arcade hits such as BurgerTime and Donkey Kong. This is also the first arcade video game to make use of multiple platforms within a single stage.

Using a theme similar to Japanese arcade game Mappy, Space Panic is centered on a single protagonist that digs traps to disarm his enemies. As Space Panic is largely considered to be the very first popularized platform based game, many clones also came out around the same time that it was introduced to the public.

Space Panic was ported to the ColecoVision in 1982. Both one and two players can play Space Panic by taking turns.


Game Play Overview

Players control the nameless main character as he goes up and down ladders while digging and filling holes. Points are earned by getting enemies to pursue you, and getting them to fall into holes. You can both dig and fill in holes by pressing one of the two action keys.

There are four different skill settings that players can choose from, with one being the easiest setting and four being the hardest. Enemies are more aggressive on higher settings levels.

The player’s main objective is to trap and eliminate all enemies while moving up and down ladders to various levels. Trapping and dropping a red colored opponent from the first platform yields 100 points. A total of 200 points can be earned by trapping a red enemy from the second platform, and 300 points are awarded when red opponents fall from the third platform. Up to 500 points are awarded when a red enemy is dropped from the fourth level.

Green aliens are not worth any points when trapped on the first platform. Players can get 300, 500 or 800 points when they are destroyed on the second or higher platforms. Lastly, blue enemies are worth the most points. While you won’t add any points to your score if you dig holes on the first or second platforms, you will get 800 or 1,200 points when you kill then on the third and fourth platforms.

Special Feature

Each stage starts with the oxygen level at 2000. Whatever oxygen remains at the completion of the level, is added to your point total.


Player icon – The main character, which wears a spacesuit, is controlled by players. He is equipped with a shovel to digs holes in order to trap and eliminate his foes.

Aliens – There are three different types of enemies in Space Panic. They vary in color, speed and point value.

Platforms – Players use platforms in order to avoid enemies and kill them.

Ladders – Ladders are used to ascend and descent platforms. Enemies can also utilize ladders in this game.

How to Play Space Panic

Although there are various levels in Space Panic, the game play itself remains the same from stage to stage. Enemies must be destroyed in order to proceed. Your only weapon is a shovel, and you can use it to dig small pits. Because you cannot travel over holes, these pits must be filled in if you want to go to the other side of a platform.

Pits can be used to kill enemies as well as prevent foes from pursuing you. Red aliens are weak and slow while blue enemies are the most dangerous. Foes tend to move in patterns, so you should usually be able to anticipate their movements.

You cannot earn extra lives in Space Panic, so avoid touching enemies. Destroying your enemies quickly is essential to getting a big time bonus. Trapping an enemy in a hole is the first step in defeating your foe. You’ll still need to use the shovel to fill in the hole to drop your enemy below.

Hints and Tips
- Since only one enemy can fall into any given hole, you will need to exercise caution when being pursued by multiple adversaries. An escape route will be necessary if you cannot given enough holes fast enough to trap all enemies coming after you.

- Because green enemies are the slowest and weakest of the bunch, try to trap them first if you are able to. However, if a different colored enemy comes close enough to you, don’t hesitate to destroy it.


We hope you enjoyed the video and the information shared on this classic arcade game.

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