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3 reviews
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A well rounded, consistent game, fun to play!

  • Zazur
  • 03/14/2012 04:57 PM
Here's the developer Mateui's description:

"Pengui is an ordinary penguin with an ordinary family. One morning he awakens to find himself separated from his group. He has no choice but to embark on an adventure to become reunited with his friends and family. The journey will not be easy as obstacles and predators lie in wait seeking their next meal, but with your help Pengui will be successful.

Features:
- Over 20 levels of ice-sliding action in four themed stages
- Additional puzzle elements such as movable rocks and vertical sliding slopes
- Hidden bonus and puzzle-boss levels
- Custom graphics
- Cute penguins
- And more! (What is an adventure without surprises?)
"

So on to the review, which I'm going to present in a play-through kind of style:

A short, slick intro introduces Pengui and sets up the story, which is a simple one. Pengui has lost his parents, and goes on a journey to find them It wastes no time in getting into the game. Excellent!

The world map appears, with a clear description of the stages, save signs, etc. So I start playing through the first few levels. Basically, each stage is an ice-sliding puzzle with spheres in different places to collect. There are different obstacles such as bridges, blocks, pushable boulders etc.

As I slide around the ice collecting my first few spheres, what I'm really noticing are the graphics and the music, both of which are fantastic. The graphics are really important for a game like this because you sometimes need to think about what you need to in advance, figure out your next moves etc. and if the graphics don't seem right, it can make it difficult to think. But the graphics here suit their purpose brilliantly. There's no confusion over what's what or which tile something is in. Also, the graphics are consistent throughout the game as well - nothing looks odd. Seriously though, its a professional look. Full marks on this score.

The music fits perfectly with the game and there is enough of it so that it doesn't get repetitive. I was definitely glad that there were a range of background musics instead of just the same one for every level - that would have grated bad after a while. Full marks here as well.

So I complete the first set of 5 levels reasonably quickly, and progress onto the next - when I notice that instead of being represented by a yellow circle on the main map, its a yellow star. Boss time!

The boss battles are different to the regular levels, and are well-pitched in terms of difficulty. Each boss battle is broken up into two phases, the first of which is pretty easy, but the second is challenging! It took me a few tries to beat this first boss (I'm not going to spoil here what you have to do in each boss battle!) but I suceeded, and moved on.

Also, if you collect every sphere in a stage, you get a bonus level after beating the boss. Pretty cool.

So yeah, I completed Stage 1, but naturally my parents "were in another igloo". Fine by me, I'm enjoying myself! So I moved on. From there, it gets progressively harder, as more elements are brought into the game. I was playing for perfection, so trying to get every yellow sphere on every map (which isn't necessary to complete the game) became more and more challenging.

As you go through, there are also some story elements, mainly in the form of the bosses, but also otherwise. Around half-way through the game there is a nice scene where Pengui meets another penguin, and from then on each level requires you to use both, with a control to switch between the two. The new penguin also has slightly different abilities to Pengui which is cool.

Anyway, I got through to the end, reunited Pengui with his parents, and then up comes my score:

324/325! Apparently there is a secret sphere on the world map which I missed! But that isn't all. I reloaded the save from just before the last battle, went a
nd found the last sphere using the hint, did the last battle again and it STILL gave me 324/325, the "one-sphere-short" penguin! I think this is a bug.


So I really enjoyed playing this game, it was great fun. On to my criticisms, which are all pretty minor.

Number 1: It was too short! I completed it in about 3 hours and was left wanting more! MORE! I tell you.

Number 2: This isn't really a "criticism" as such, but I felt this was the kind of game a level editor would really suit. There's no reason for me to play it again now, since I have completed all the levels and remember the tricks, the only replayable bits are the boss battles, which aren't enough to make me slog through the stages again.

Number 3: A list of minor flaws in gameplay/visuals:

<SPOILER>
-In Level 1-2, there is a weird bit where you "switch" from the higher level to the lower one without going down any stairs or a ladder. Apart from looking bad, it's easy to miss due to the difference between the basic snow tile and the one with the cliff along the northern edge being small. It could frustrate people.
-In Level 1-3 (and a few other levels), when the penguin is sliding over the ice towards a sphere, he stops in the tile before it. This allows you to change direction and is just a flaw. I notice in most of the later levels, it doesn't happen.
-Similarly, in the levels where you slide down the icy cliffs, if you hold Down whilst on them, you can slide over spheres without collecting them.
-In Level 1-4 the music doesn't quite seem to fit. Mainly because its almost inaudible.
-In Level 1-5 you hid a sphere behind a tree, so that it wasn't visible. I was wondering from the start whether you were going to do that or not. I don't like it because again, some people could become frustrated with your game and just quit.
-A similar visibility issue - the spheres on the top row of the screen in some levels are obscured by the life/points bar, making them almost impossible to see.


Overall, a cracking game with very few bugs. If you like puzzle games, then this one is definitely one to do, even if it won't keep you occupied for more than a few hours. Cracking gameplay, visuals, score - a cracker of a game!

Posts

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Thank you so much for taking the time to review my game. I really appreciate it. I will definitely try to address all the flaws you pointed out, so thanks for those.

This game was my side project so it was never going to be a long epic game, just a brain puzzler intended to be beaten in a few short hours, HOWEVER I did hope it would become popular enough that people would want to create their own levels for the Puzzle Mode of the game (which is currently unavailable) and send them in to me so that I can compile them together under this mode. Kind of like a community project. Level creation is pretty easy if you open up the game in Rm2k3. If there is enough interest, I can add a tutorial on level creation.

Thanks again for the review Zazur!
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