Penguin Patrol recently slid onto Nintendo DSiWare, providing 78 levels of penguin-saving gameplay for only $2. This puzzler will challenge your mind as you carefully plan how to rescue your stranded, tuxedo-wearing friends while avoiding crumbling ice and deadly water.
Penguin Patrol is a fun puzzle game with simple, turn-based mechanics, with each level set up on a grid. The surface of each square is either earth, ice that falls apart after you move over it, ice that falls apart after moving over it twice, ice that is permanent but causes you to slide until you hit something solid or fall in the freezing water, or an impassable obstacle. Scattered about each level are your helpless penguin pals, of which you need to rescue at least a certain number in order to open the exit.
You can get three stars on each level: one for rescuing the minimum penguins, another for getting them all, and the third for breaking all destructible ice. This is nice because it allows you determine your own difficulty setting for each level, as going for each additional star often makes it noticeably harder.
The on-the-fly difficulty adjustment also introduces an interesting aspect of morality to the game. It’s pretty easy to decide not to break all the ice in a level in favor of moving on to the next, but can you do the same thing with those cute penguins? Can you leave them stranded, jumping and chirping? Can you become as cold-hearted as the frozen climate? I actually did struggle with it the first few times I left them sitting there so that I could move on, even though they’re only virtual creatures. If you scoff at me, I challenge you to play the game and leave one behind without a shred of remorse.
In terms of playability, Penguin Patrol lets you hit L to undo your last move, which you can repeat all the way back to the start of the level. Plus, you can pause the game and then hit Retry to reset the entire level without any delay. There’s also a Stage Select screen that shows finished levels and the number of stars you earned, so you can always go back and try a level again if you passed up a perfect score the first time.
Penguin Patrol is solid fun. If you like puzzle games, you’ll get hours of enjoyment for a great price.
|Originality||8||Fresh enough that it doesn’t feel like you’ve played it before.|
|Fun||8||If you like puzzle games, you’ll enjoy it.|
|Pacing||7||New mechanics are spread out at good intervals.|
|Controls||10||Zero complaints here.|
|Style||9||For a game with cute penguins, it manages not to be too cute.|
|Polish||7||The graphics and menus are clean and simple.|
|Design||10||No load times. A steady increase of difficulty.|
|Story||7||Like most puzzle games, not really a factor.|
|Mileage||8||You’ll get plenty of entertainment for the price.|
|Mood||8||The music will get stuck in your head. Good thing it’s catchy.|
Penguin Patrol is also available on iOS and Android.
Note: Screenshots are from iOS version.Tweet
About the Author
|Markham Asylum is a founding member of Delta Attack. His tier-1 favorite genres are role-playing, puzzle, and strategy. His tier-2 are adventure, shooter, and platformer. He strives to provide spoiler-free postings whenever possible.
Markham Asylum has written 398 posts on Delta Attack.