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

Screenshot: Namco Bandai
Screenshot: Namco Bandai

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 centres.

(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.


  • Did anyone even use the mallets?

    Everyone I ever saw play the game (me included) used their hands, always got a high score because two hands beat one mallet.

    • Yup, but apparently that ruined it. I think one of the ways they got around it was by adding a second mallet for people at my local.
      “Now I’m angry!”

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