Powerslide Penguin Review

by on July 15, 2011

Game: Powerslide Penguin

Developer: Cobra Mobile

Publisher: Chillingo

Available on: iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad (Reviewed on iPhone)

Ever wanted to flick penguins around a predetermined area collecting coins and shiny gem stones? Of course you have!

That’s what Cobra Mobile and Chillingo thought too, and that’s why they’ve released Powerslide Penguin, a physics-based puzzle game for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad that will always ensure that, wherever you are, you’ll have the chance to bounce penguins against frozen walls.

With that in mind, is Powerslide Penguin any good?

Powerslide_Penguin_Screenshot (1)

I always knew those penguins were shifty - never did trust them...

Powerslide Penguin is a physics-based puzzle game where the player is given the task of launching a small penguin towards the goal, in this case a gem which will finish the level. The difficulty lies in the collection of all the coins in the level. If someone wishes to truly “finish” the level they will need to collect all of the coins, as well as finishing the level within a set amount of time. That way, they will get the highest score achievable on that level, before moving onto the next one.

The graphics in Powerslide Penguin leave a lot to be desired, which is a shame considering that the last game that I reviewed from Cobra Mobile, Storm in a Teacup, had such a good looking and appealing art style. There is a high definition version of Powerslide Penguin available for iPad and iPhone 4 that will alleviate some of the graphical issues (such as blurry graphics and low resolution text) but it doesn’t improve the blocky models the characters and game environments. The models themselves are the biggest issue as far as I was concerned, and severely detracted from the overall appeal of the game.

Powerslide_Penguin_Screenshot (2)

Carving a message in the ice takes a lot of time and effort ... one letter is as far as this poor penguin got.

On the plus side, Powerslide Penguin is the type of game that’s perfect for the iPad and other touch devices. The controls are really simple to pick up, and it’s immediately obvious what’s required of the player in order to progress through the game. It’s so simple in fact, that even a two-year old can figure it out within seconds, as I found out when I thought my iPad had grown legs and walked off, only to discover it in the car with the culprit himself.

All of the controls are based on the touch controls of the device that it’s being played on: press on the penguin, pull your finger back in order to set the level of power that will be transferred, and then let go. The penguin will then set off in the opposite direction to the one your finger was pulling in. Think of the penguin as the white ball in a game of snooker and the player’s finger as the cue, and you’ve pretty much got it.

Just like any other puzzle game on the market, there’s a sense of longevity to Powerslide Penguin. If you’re the type of gamer that plays for 5 minutes at a time, and only really cares about getting to the next level then Powerslide Penguin lets you do that. If, however, you’re the type of person that won’t move onto the next level until you’ve collected all of the coins and earned the top rank of gem stone, then there’s going to be even more here for you. Powerslide Penguin definitely falls into the “easy to learn, difficult to master” category; it’s up to you to decide if that’s what you’re looking for in an iDevice game.

Understanding why coins are suddenly appearing in the ice is one thing but pinball machine pieces?!?

At the end of the day, Powerslide Penguin is an addictive little iOS game with easy to learn controls and a quirky storyline, but it is let down by a lack of attention to details in both the character models and environments. These make the game a little bit less visually appealing for most players, whilst players who overlook that and play for extended periods of time will still eventually get bored of the same levels, with slightly different obstacles, over and over again.


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