Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Sega8bit & SMS Power! 2013 Event - 10th August 11 weeks and 4 days from now
Review of Penguin Land / Doki Doki Penguin Land - Uchuu Daibouken (どきどき ペンギンランド 宇宙大冒険) / Uju Daemoheom (우주 대모험) by The Games Machine magazine
Overall rating 79%
A game and character reminiscent of the MSX Penguin Adventure, Penguin Land features strong puzzle elements.
Penguin Mission Commander Overbite has a delicate yet urgent task. Three precious penguin eggs are stranded on a distant planet, stolen by an anti-amphibious force. Overbite has discovered the eggs, but 50 sectors lie between his precious cargo and home. He must push them past ferocious animals and unstable rocks without splitting the fragile shells.
There's a time limit on each round, which takes place in a vertically scrolling series of platforms. Four screens in depth, the blocks making up these platforms impede progress. Most blocks are destructible if pecked at, but golden blocks are impervious to Overbite's beak.
Some blocks act like golden ones but constantly shrink and grow, while others are cracked and crumble to dust if an egg is dropped on them or they are walked on. Special green blocks have holes allowing an egg or Overbite to pass through, depending on which silhouette the hole forms.
Aggressive polar bears must be put out of action with overhead boulders, disturbed by a swift peck and manoeuvred by the hero, if he's not to be stunned by a gruff paw. Malicious buzzards fly overhead if an egg is left alone too long, dropping bricks on them - messy.
The first 30 rounds are selectable when you begin a game but the remaining levels can only be played when these have all been completed. In addition to the set game screens, 15 more can be designed with a screen editor, and stored within the cartridge. Blocks (and bears) are selected from a menu at the bottom of the screen and positioned on a map with a cursor. Levels can then be saved and played as a normal round.
The mixture of ideas in Penguin Land make a pleasant contrast to arcade adventures and shoot-'em-ups. Removing blocks and pushing objects around is reminscent a Boulderdash/Lode Runner combination, but in a vertical format. The puzzles are often infuriating and require dextrous use ot the Sega keypad, which makes the game difficult, but one worth mastering. And finally, the screen editor adds variety already numerous rounds, giving long lasting interest to what appears at first to be a game reliant only on a cute idea.
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