Super Penguins - iPhone/iPad Review

With my new iPhone has come a lot of new games to try out.  Most of them have been of the slower-paced variety like RPG or CCG style games.  However, it is nice to try out some other types of titles, especially those that make better use of the iPhone as a whole.  One such game I have been sinking quite a bit of time into lately is Super Penguins.

This game reminds me of the better-known Temple Run game, but I actually enjoyed this infinite runner quite a bit more.  The premise of the game as well as its execution are both quite simple.  You look out over your character (you can choose from several once you unlock them) as you run down a twisting, often narrowing track of ice as you avoid falling icicles, leap octopi arms, avoid drops and more.  The idea is to survive the track for as long as you can while picking up fish along the way.

You really only have two sets of controls. As shown in the image above, you tilt your device left or right to steer, and you can tap your screen to perform a jump.  Additional powers can be purchased for fish (which you can earn through play, or shortcut to acquire in bulk via in-app purchase), and these range from rockets that warp you ahead on the track safely, to a double-jump ability (one of my favorites actually), the ability to block ink blots on your screen and more.

It all starts out easy enough, but I generally find after about 1,000 steps it can get pretty hectic out there.  The fish you collect carry over after the race, giving you more purchase power later.  There is not much of a story too it (basically you are part of a penguin colony lacking the fish needed to survive and octopi that need the same food are trying to keep you at bay).  RPG depth this is not, but it serve the purpose and fits the whimsical graphical and musical style perfectly.

Speaking of those two aspects of the game, Super Penguins holds up really well on both points.  The music is cute and catchy, and the graphics are vividly colorful and well animated.  Considering the screen and game are constantly on the go as you bob and weave your way around the track, the fact that the screen never slows, stutters or tears is pretty impressive.  Aside from these performance concerns, the game itself never crashed or failed to load and I played it on an iPhone 4, iPad 1 and iPad 3.

Now, this is not necessarily the kind of game I usually look for right away.  I tend to lean toward more serious fare than this, so I thought it would be interesting to see how the game sat with my wife and oldest daughter as well.  They both enjoy cute, lightweight games as ways to pass the time.  Both of them liked it - my daughter in particular liked it a lot.  She joked about how she was only going to play for a few minutes, and looked up to realize more than an hour had passed.

Considering the game is free to acquire, performs so smoothly and has loads of 'cute' going for it, Super Penguins is a really easy game to recommend to fans of these types of titles and I will score it 8 out of 10 overall.

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