September 27, 2010, at 01:59 PM

Mini Review: Penguin Land

Enough of the crappy platformers already! How about something a bit more “classic”? The “outer space” sequel to the SG-1000 (and arcade) oft-copied egg-pushing adventure with the untranslatable name...

Graphics

While it’s clearly an early Japanese release, the characterisation in the sprites is very good. There’s lots of variety in the penguin (hitting his head on the ceiling, reeling from a polar bear punch, etc) and the polar bear, although that’s pretty much it. The round intros are nice huge graphics. In-game it’s a block-based puzzler so you can’t expect too much...

Sound

Pleasantly blip-bloppy late-80s Japanese chiptune, but not outstanding.

Longevity

While the gameplay is basically unchanged throughout, the 50 levels will take you a long time to cover. I got through in about 4 hours, but that was split into many dozens of play sessions - you probably can’t play too much of this in one go, but it doesn’t get as boring as you might expect, as you can “zone in” to the game quite well.

Plot

Not a lot. You’re a penguin of some sort delivering eggs to underground space stations on ice planets. By tremendous luck, that makes it almost identical to the original game...

Fun

At the risk of repeating myself, a lot more than you might expect. I’ve played cheap mobile phone crappy clones of this game (penguins seem to be a popular character for cheap east Asian software to be based upon...) and they were cheap and crappy, but it turns out this is pretty good.

Innovation

It’s a really close repeat of the first game, with a few new block types added and redrawn with the SMS’s superior graphics in a much more cutesy style.

Conclusion

Better than you probably expected. Definitely worth playing through, although you’ll be glad there’s not 100 levels.


Mini Review Ratings