Amazing Penguin

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North American cover.

Amazing Penguin is an action maze game developed and published by Natsume for the Game Boy on 1990-08-08. You control a penguin who must traverse a maze while avoiding enemies. The maze consists of paths to panels which are held down by black and white seals. The black seals can be stomped or kicked at the enemies and the white seals can only be stomped, but reverse the direction of the enemies. When you remove all the seals around a panel, it flips over. Flipping all panels in a room completes it. In the American game, you play Prince Pendrich, whose land has been invaded by an evil wizard named Borbon the Great who has enchanted office supplies to attack. That story doesn't fit the actual game which looks more like the penguin hero is an artist whose supplies have been enchanted and turned against him by a polar wizard who has also kidnapped his girlfriend.

I learned about this game from Jeremy Parish's Game Boy Works review videos. The game looked interesting enough to want to play. I beat it on my first attempt on 2019-11-20 after several hours and a lot a game overs.

Status

I do not own this game, but I have beaten it.

Review

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4 4 5 5 2 40%

Best Version: Game Boy

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • The attractive background graphics that appear every 10 rooms or so are nicely drawn, and the cut scenes, though not very interesting, are still a good touch.
  • The game's music by Iku Mizutani and Koichi Yamanishi is enjoyable and fits the game perfectly.
  • You get a password every few rooms. Not as frequently as I'd like considering it's a portable title, but it's better than nothing.
  • A couple of the rooms make creative use of the enemies like 25 and 37.
  • I like the fact that the game has an ending, and it's nice to watch.

Bad

  • Because enemies respawn so quickly, I found the kick attack to be unhelpful. For the bulk of the game I found I could clear the room a lot faster by simply stomping the black seals. I only encountered one stage where kicking was truly necessary. The designers probably should have forced kicking black seals to keep the game play more varied.
  • It's not as easy to move the penguin around corners and intersections as I would like.
  • Office supplies as enemies is stupid. I would definitely prefer arctic-themed beasts like the polar bears that only appear in the final room.
  • The player is given unlimited continues and a game over doesn't set you back. This means, with enough determination, the player is guaranteed to win on their very first attempt. Also, since you have unlimited continues, the only point of having lives is just to get a higher score.
  • Another save the princess game. Lame.
  • The final boss battle was surprisingly easy.
  • The manual mentions that there are hidden paths, but I never encountered them.

Ugly

  • The general mechanic of the game — traverse a maze while avoiding enemies — just isn't a sustainable model. Like all previous maze games, it gets old fast. I was bored by the half-way point.
  • Like most action puzzle games, as you near the end of the game the rooms become ridiculously complex. The game stops being fun and just becomes tedious because you're doing all the same stuff as the first couple rooms, just with much smaller margins for error.

Media

Box Art

Documentation

Videos

Titles

Language Native Transliteration Translation
English Amazing Penguin
Japanese おさわがせ! ペンギンBOY O Sawagase! Pengin BOY Say Hello! Penguin Boy

Links

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