Obake no Q-tarō: Wanwan Panic!
Release: December 16, 1985 | Developer: TOSE | Publisher: Bandai
Based on Hiroshi Fujimoto and Abiko Moto’s 1964 manga and more directly on the mid-80s Japanese television anime, Obake no Q-tarō: Wanwan Panic! is a colorful yet entirely mediocre platformer. An early effort by Japanese developer TOSE, the game follows the adventures of the mischevious ghost character Qtarō, with the central conceit of the game being Qtarō’s fear of dogs.
As Qtarō, you traverse a total of 12 side-scrolling platforming stages with a few bonus stages sprinkled in between, avoiding dogs and facing off against several uninspired bosses. Qtarō has the ability to fly and needs to consume fruit and candy in order to maintain flight. Thankfully these power-ups are plentiful. You can essentially fly through entire levels with relative ease, which becomes almost a necessity as the game difficulty ramps up swiftly when played without flying as a straight platformer.
Obake no Q-tarō: Wanwan Panic! did see a Western release, although it was a heavily modified one. Due to the lack of Western awareness of the Qtarō manga and anime, the game was completely reskinned and released as Chubby Cherub. Chubby Cherub strips the game if it’s unique Japanese-ness leaving only the mostly bland and clunky gameplay, making it completely forgettable.