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It's really hard being a penguin!

  • rabitZ
  • 03/22/2012 09:34 PM
  • 1152 views
I played this game after posting in the Review just one Game topic.
It looked like a fun puzzle collection, so I was really motivated to play it.

Graphics/Mapping: 4/5
It looks live every single graphic resource used in this game is custom (at least I believe it is?). The tiles, characters and all the environments are very well achieved. Every puzzle element is obvious enough. I really have to note the effort the author must have put in creating all these graphics. But it really pays out, in my opinion.
The main character pengui is very well done. He has these small, cool animations that really give him character (for example, when he gets mad because you restart a level).


Nice, huh?

There are some very small issues, like for example the information bar at the top of the screen sometimes obscures some of the spheres that you need to collect, but it's not a gamebreaker or anything like that.

Music: 4.5/5
I don't know where the music in this game comes from. Although I think I recognized a commercial tune in there somewhere?
That being said, I have the admit the musical aspect of this game is extremely good.
Songs really motivate you to play the puzzle levels, and make the time you spend thinking about your next move go by without you even noticing.
Props to Mateui for his good ear.

Gameplay: 2/5
I'm going to say the following about the gameplay: I'm extremely torn about the two "halves" of this game.

On one hand, the regular puzzle levels are really fun and interesting.
Every element is clearly identifiable, and mechanics are introduced gradually, so as to not confuse the player.
The basic idea is this: collect enough "yellow spheres" to be able to use the exit, all this by sliding on the ice and avoiding traps like holes, etc.
You have a minimum amount required to progress, but can also attempt a "perfect" level by collecting all of the spheres, and if you complete all the levels of a stage in this way, you earn the right to play a bonus level and get an extra life.
Going further the game, you meet a companion penguin, with a different set of abilities than pengui. He makes for a good partner and adds more interest to the game.


The seals of death...

But the "boss" levels I find excessively hard... oftentimes bordering on frustrating.
Each boss level has 2 stages. The basic idea is that you have to gather yellow spheres, just like in the regular levels, but this time you have to do so while avoiding angry animals (and more) that want to eat you alive. Once you clear the first stage, you have to do it again... only this time, there are more enemies and they might even move faster.
Most times, with careful observation (and after dying a bunch of times) you can spot the patterns in with they move.
But, since all it takes for you to die is one of them touching you, you will die a lot, and that indeed can prove frustrating for some people (me included).
What's worse, if you were at stage two when you die, you have to restart from stage one.
Nonetheless, I endured. Your mileage may vary: If you like hard challenges, then you will find these boss stages very fun.

Story: 3/5
The story is pretty simple, but effective enough to serve as a vessel for the stages: pengui finds himself without his family, and must journey through ice planes and caves to find them.
Sometimes you get a minor cutscene or commentary from pengui, and it shows his innocent personality. The penguin you meet (Quinn) has a very different personality haha (I won't spoil it for you :p).
So, a light but relatable story, with characters that don't talk much but have personalities when they do have the chance to be in cutscenes, and are easy to root for. Well done!
If there was even more lore/hidden charactres/etc, I'd have given a higher score, but I understand this is a puzzle game, so I'm not taking too many points off for that!

Some tropes found in the game:
- Everything's Better with Penguins
- Wake Up Call Boss
- 100% Completion

Conclusion
If the boss stages hadn't been so hard, I imagine I would have a big grin on my face after the satisfaction of playing this awesome slider-penguin-puzzle-game, but for me it was a mixed bag, having lots of fun in the regular stages, and then just wanting to get over the boss ones (having to retry a LOT of times each one of them hahaha).
That being said, some people prefer hard stages, so to them I'd recommend this without a second thought. For the ones who don't... I still say go ahead and give it a try.

Good game!

Final Score: 3.5/5

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