Review: Air Penguin
The iceberg has split off and you’re drifting away from your family! Jump penguin! Jump!
Air Penguin, developed by Gamevil Inc., is a game about a penguin that is separated from its family and struggles to get back to them. As the game boots up for the first time and other times through the game, you get a quick synopsis of the “story” behind why this penguin is bouncing from ice chunk to ice chunk. He was separated from his family when a giant crack in an iceberg left him on one side of the crack, and his family on the other. His side quickly floated off to sea with him on it. Mind you, this penguin has super jumping skills and instead of jumping over to his family immediately, he sat on his floating iceberg like a dumbass, watching his family fade away into the distance. Flaw#1.
While you are playing the game, when you complete a section, you “capture” or save one of the penguin’s kids. This is flaw #2 and one of the biggest flaws in the “story”. The mother penguin apparently stayed with the kids at the original separation. Yet, the game play makes for a different version. Also, if he saves his children 1 by 1 as he goes through the missions, where do the kids go? He saves each one individually, yet they are not seen again until the end in a cartoon snapshot. If they were going to go against the initial story of the game, they should have had the kids jumping behind him like a sidekick and saving the other family members together, trying to make their way back to the mother penguin. But instead, he saves a kid and you do not see the kid again. WTF? Flaw #3.
If you are going to have a story in a game, at least stick to it. Don’t have multiple versions throughout.
As for the actual game playing, the penguin in this game is in a non-stop jumping frenzy, which you must tilt your device accordingly to guide the penguin onto the various objects to allow him to jump again to the next object until he reaches a flag at the end of each level. The various objects he jumps upon are chunks of ice, sea turtles, bobbing sea stars (Flaw #4, sea stars don’t bob, let alone swim), the spouts of water blasting out the blowholes of whales, and many other objects to help you progress forward. There are a few levels in which the penguin stops jumping, only to be sliding on his belly from one end of a large rectangular iceberg to the other. I’m assuming we are meant to believe the iceberg is sloped downward, which allows him to continue sliding on his belly. Visually I can’t tell. Looks flat to me. Flaw #5..
The difficulty of the game is held strictly in the success or failure of your ability to tilt your device correctly to guide the penguin safely onto the various objects. These objects vary in size and are often moving, sometimes in random motions. And to make matters worse, you have sea creatures that impede your progress too. The most popular being the sharks. Which hold still, face upward, and wait for the penguin to jump directly over them, which they will then leap up and swallow the penguin. Flaw #6. Not accurate as sharks can’t hold still in water without dying; they can’t stay vertical with their head above water like a dolphin; and they can’t lunge forward from a stand still position. That’s 3 “can’ts”, but who’s counting?
Other critters that prevent the steady movement of your penguin, are seals that are on the various chunks of ice, that bounce the penguin sideways when the two collide. There is also the leaping swordfish, that take out the penguin if paths are crossed. FYI, Swordfish won’t be found in ocean waters cold enough to have icebergs in them. Another inaccuracy. But its just a game, right? Flaw #7.
I can see how this game could be fun for some people. It’s obvious from my review that I did not enjoy the game and that it bores me. Just feels like I’m doing the same thing over and over. Guess you can argue that about a lot of games, but no matter when I play this game, I still have the same lack of enthusiasm. Largely due to the fact that even the best gamer, couldn’t pass quite a few of the levels due to the fact that they require you to memorize the safe path after failing repeatedly. These “safe paths” I am referring to are things you can’t see soon enough without dying first. Such as when a whale flings you forward at high speed and you are supposed to maneuver left or right of the leaping sharks. Instead you have to die, then try again knowing on the next try you have to swerve left or right at a certain point. Then you die again, and realize, “okay, first I swerve right, then when I hit that second whale, I have to stay centered and then jog a little left after the third row of sharks.” There are are many other situations that are along these lines too.
To sum it up, I do not recommend this game for anyone. I’ve been going back to it once a day for about 12 days straight. Progressing forward each time I play, waiting to get to some level in the game where it captures my enthusiasm so that I can write a more energetic review of the game. No such luck. This game fails to keep me eager to continue playing. But maybe you’ll enjoy the game? Its free, you’ve got nothing to lose but battery charge.
Final Rating: 3/10
CBR Break Down:
Console Played On: Android Tablet (ASUS Eee Pad Transformer) & Android Phone (DroidX)
Available On: Google Play and iOS App Store
Time to completion: Too bored to complete it
Price Bought at: FREE
Current Price: FREE on Google Play and iTunes
Recommend Purchase Price: FREE
Why you should download it: Because you there is a chance you might like it.
Why you shouldn’t download it: It’s boring.