Jan 31, 2012
Some things are popular because they inherently awesome. Things like robots, and ninjas, and zombies and, of course, penguins. I don’t know what it is about those little tuxedo’d guys that delight me so much, but I am defenseless against anything remotely penguin-related. Penguin Palooza caters to that love in a very focused, and successful way.
The setting is a little watery ice flow, with tall glacier walls on either side. There are platforms on either size, and the goal is to get some kamikaze penguins from side to the other. They arrive on the left-hand ledge and fling themselves into the air toward the icy waters below. The user draws trampolines below them to get them to bounce up and onto the right-hand ledge. The penguins have some pretty good bounce, and a tendency to slip off the ice if they don’t land just right. Points are awarded for every penguin that gets across to the cave on the other side. Fish will jump out of the water during play, and points are also earned for every fish that the penguins gulp out of the air. Beware though; the penguins with full bellies don’t bounce as high. There are also some show-off penguins. They wear jaunty red scarves, ignore the fish, and bounce incredibly high. Any penguin that falls into the water counts as a miss. The game is made harder when the ledges randomly move up and down the walls. Users can have two misses, but a third means game over. However lives can be earned back: there is a tiny baby penguin on the ice below, and the longer the game continues, the more fish he eats. When he eats enough fish to grow up, a life is earned back.
This is only the Palooza mode of play. Palooza continues for as long as users can keep the penguins out of the water. If Palooza gets tedious then there are Challenges. Each challenge round is different and fun; Keep all of the penguins alive for 60 seconds; Get three penguins across with no misses, etc. The challenges give the player a break from the frantic bouncing of Palooza, as the longer play continues in that mode the more penguins have to be kept in the air. The trampolines aren’t permanent – after one bounce they disappear, which is a problem if two penguins are falling together. As well, only three trampolines can be active at any given time. It’s a seemingly simple game but is actually quite the challenge.
I believe I’ve mentioned that I love penguins, and these penguins are incredibly cute (especially when they’ve gulped up a fish). The challenge modes are inventive, and Palooza draws me back time and again to beat my last score.
I seem, however, to have run into a rather strange glitch that has stopped me completely in Challenge mode. Challenge number four requires that I catch 1 gold and 1 pink fish within 60 seconds. However in none of the six or seven times I’ve attempted that challenge has a single pink fish appeared. It is currently unbeatable. And worse still, at one point the game crashed an erased all of my saved data. I think they need to do a little maintenance on the game before I can recommend it whole-heartedly.
App available on the Android Market