After 30 Years, Namco Bandai Releases New Version Of Amusement Arcade Game

Illustration for article titled After 30 Years, Namco Bandai Releases New Version Of Amusement Arcade Game
Screenshot: Namco Bandai
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If you’ve ever been to an arcade in Japan, you’ve probably seen Wani Wani Panic. It’s similar to Whac-A-Mole, but with alligators, and is a mainstay of Japanese game centers.

(Whac-A-Mole was invented in Japan and licensed to Bandai in 1977.)

Originally released in Japan in 1989, Wani Wani Panic did come to North America as Gator Panic. It has also spawned spin-offs with crabs and sharks, as well as video game iterations and the mobile one.


As Livedoor reports, the new arcade version is called Wani Wani Panic R, and it is the first updated version of the arcade game since its release. The new cabinet has a 32-inch liquid crystal display as well as two hammers, making co-op play possible. Besides that, it’s pretty much the same—which is rather amazing.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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gina molinari

Wait there was supposed to be a hammer??? When I was a kid there were a bunch of bowling alleys and arcades near where I lived that had this and we always just smacked the crocs with our bare hands.