Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
There seems to be a trend at the moment for GG games with loads of levels and very little playability. Initially, Pengo’s fun and mildly addictive. However, after a few attempts, the near-identical levels and repetitive gameplay try one’s patience a little.
Tartix, the continent of snow and ice, is under threat from a gang of alien creatures known as the Sno-bees. They’re melting Tartix’s surface and threatening to drive the Pengo population to extinction.
Taking on the role of chief Pengo, you fling blocks of ice at the bees, smash their eggs before they hatch and make the surface shake, stopping them in their tacks.
Each level’s composed of a series of ice blocks which form a mini maze. The aliens race around like there’s no tomorrow, sucking up the ice with the Sno-bee equivalent of an Electrolux 567 wall-to-wall vacuum cleaner!
Shove blocks to squash the beasties, or likewise push button or when an unsuspecting bee’s running against the maze wall, and you’ll render him unconscious for a few seconds. Just time to run over the poor beggar and flatten ‘im!
There are 64 levels to Pengo but there’s not much difference between them. The layout of the ice chunks change, more Sno-bees and alien eggs appear, but graphics are identical throughout.
Those jolly Game Gear tunes we all know and love play throughout each act, and they do differ from time to time. A humorous little ditty accompanies a group of breakdancing penguins when an act is cleared. Later rounds are tougher, but not particularly difficult.
Slider has the edge over Pengo because at least the levels look and play a little different. There’s a glut of slide-and-push puzzle games at the moment, Pengo’s a member of the genre I can’t recommend.
Only for ardent fans of the genre