Penguins are fairly well represented on the App Store, what with the excellent Air Penguin and, er, presumably a bunch of other stuff.
Supersolid is adding to the mix with Super Penguins, and while it’s nothing like the aforementioned Gamevil effort, it’s really rather enjoyable.
That means the camera sits behind our Super Penguins protagonist (as opposed to above or to the side), and here we’re titling to avoid obstacles, which include falling icicles, octopus arms, plain old rocks, and little guys who spit ink on the screen.
Along the way, you collect fish, and they act as the obligatory in-game currency, with which you can buy character skins, upgrades, and one-off perks such as No Ink Splats, Extra Life, Fewer Icicles, and Double Jump.
An extra life costs FISH1,000 up front (and is used automatically on the next run), however you can also add an extra life post-death for 4,500. Significantly more expensive, but makes sense if you’ve just put in an exceptional run.
The PR folks were kind enough to send me some iTunes credit to use in the Super Penguins store, which I immediately put toward a platypus skin – only to discover that it does, well, absolutely nothing. In total, that was £10 worth of fish. Oops.
Incidentally, saving up is – as we’ve come to expect from smartphone games like this – painfully slow. Par for the course, and all that.
Getting away from the shop and back to the game, Super Penguins looks decent enough. It’s nice and bright, though there’s not a great deal of variety in the environment – mostly just ice. Lots and lots of ice.
Oh, I almost forgot about the little penguins scattered around the course. Save them and you unleash bonuses such as Invincibility, and Fishsucker (effectively a magnet for fish).
The music in Super Penguins deserves a special mention. It was composed by the chap who did the music for Fez on Xbox Live. There’s a good chance the tune’ll get stuck in your head if you play with the volume up. You’ve been warned.
And that’s Super Penguins, a fairly by-the-numbers survival running game, but that’s not to say it’s not a great deal of fun.
- It’s free
- Lots of power-ups and things to buy
- The music
- Saving up fish is a slow process
- Not hugely original
- Bit samey after a while
Summary: Super Penguins is a worthy addition to the survial running genre (or whatever it’s called).
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
Price: free @ App Store