Air Penguin Review
Written by Eric Ippolito Wednesday, 20 April 2011 09:20
Air Penguin is GAMEVIL's newest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. It features lengthy gameplay, beautiful artwork and nice music. It's jolly fun as well!
Air Penguin begins with a short storyboard showing the separation of several penguins via broken up ice platforms. Fortunately, there are no make-you-feel-guilty “global warming” insinuations here, just a basic story crisis. It's then your job to find all of the young and helpless penguins by traversing through the various stages of the game. You'll do this by jumping from each ice platform by tilting the device in any direction and avoiding any obstacles, enemies and water. Yes, penguins normally can swim—however, this one must have traded that ability for his incredible front-flip skills.
Air Penguin has 100 stages divided up into several levels, which progress in difficulty as the game goes on. Each stage has a maximum of five fish that players can acquire. Getting all fish within good time will add bonuses to a player's overall score. They also double as in-game currency to purchase added help during levels (think: bumpers for bowling.) Players may break from the original story mode and attempt a high score on the survival mode. The survival mode has various obstacles throughout, and measures your ability to travel the farthest distance without dying.
Players will have to be careful of multiple enemies, such as leaping sharks who will eat you, flying fish who will spear you, and blubbering seals whom you will bounce off of. Fortunately, there are some friends that the penguin can mooch off of, such as whales and turtles, who will make your journey a little easier at times.
The first thing players will notice when playing this game is how tricky the controls are. During play, there are no buttons to press and no sliding finger skills required—just the tilting mechanic. However, players quickly catch on and the gameplay becomes quite fun. For those still frustrated with the sensitivity, there is a setting that makes this more manageable. In fact, there is even an option that pauses the game whenever players receive a text message, which provides a three-second countdown timer before resuming. It is small touches like these that allow players to focus on playing and less time yelling at the game.
However, despite being mechanically solid and visually excellent, Air Penguin seems to take itself just a little too seriously. The enemies and allies in the game are true to real life, but are typical or a little cliche, and there is zero humor in the gameplay. Not that every game requires this, but it feels like Air Penguin could use just a bit of it throughout the game. Then again, there is the slightly annoying “whoo hoo” that the penguin says upon each level's completion.
Regardless, Air Penguins is a very fun game overall. It is very cute, but will appeal to every audience. The game's visuals are fantastic and the music resembles something from Kingdom Hearts. The game is challenging and can even be slightly frustrating at times (cursed flying fish), but is overly enjoyable. GAMEVIL does a great job communicating the interface icons without text, but some of the purchasable items and their uses can seem a little vague at times.
Despite this nitpicking, however, Air Penguin is a solid game that is more than worth it's 99 cent price tag. GAMEVIL does an excellent job in this visually brilliant and fun game.