Penga’s Peril is a journey.

Review of Penga’s Peril on XBLIG: Try
Speed runs on ice with a puzzle twist!

Penga’s Peril is a puzzle game where the goal is to dodge Stitch-like blue monsters, press buttons, and get Penga the penguin to a glowing ring that magically transports him home. I made up that last bit because like any true puzzle game, IT HAS NO STORY. This is not a bad thing. This type of game have never needed a story and I see no need for this one to have one either. Finishing each puzzle is the only story I need.

The game has “Freaky Creatures” front and center in the title. Aside from the Moogle-like poof on the top of Penga and the Stitch-like monsters, there wasn’t much odd about the creatures in the game. The creator built the game based on pet creatures in a free-to-play online game that looks a lot like Little Big Planet. I haven’t played that game (it won’t let me install the client) but it did look interestintg. I didn’t like the game calling me “Freaky” or any number of other inane “win screens” that flashed up upon completion of a level. I suppose they wanted to keep to the theme but I wasn’t amused.

Penga is much easier to control with the D-pad than the left thumbstick and somehow it doesn’t feel as if I had to fight the D-pad’s lack of precision just to make him do what I wanted. Tapping a direction, while noisy, was effective.

The worst I have to say about this game is that I didn’t like the many of the sounds or the background music. I suppose it’s hard to find music to fit a penguin based puzzle game that doesn’t show as too cute or too Morgan-Freeman-epic-y… but this found a third direction that I don’t like. The walrus-cough sound on the menu grated on my nerves. I did like the squeak when Penga fell off the side of a puzzle. That seemed to imply both a death squeal and him slipping on the edge of an icy cliff. The squish of the Stitch-like monster being destroyed was oddly satisfying.

I give Penga’s Peril a Try. It’s a solid puzzle game that feels like a throwback without using 2D graphics. I’ve only been able to make it through about half of the levels but I had fun doing it. I could have wished for a save system so I didn’t have to start all the way over all the time but that IS the largest part of the challenge.

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