Penguin Wars

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North American box art.

Penguin Wars is a dodge ball-inspired video game developed by UPL and published for the Game Boy in Japan by ASCII Corporation on 1990-03-30, then in the USA by Nexoft in July, 1990. This is a port of an arcade game from 1985, only it's missing several of the features from the original. In the game, you attempt to roll balls from your side of the table to your opponent's side. Each player starts with five balls on their side, and the objective is to get all ten on one side to win. You accomplish this by hitting your opponent with a ball to stun them, and by hitting their balls on the table to knock them back at your opponent. Each round is 60 seconds long, and, if nobody wins in the alotted time, who ever has the least number of balls on their side wins.

I learned about this game from the video game reviewer Jeremy Parish. The game looked interesting and fairly easy, so I played it and beat it on my first try.


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


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5 4 5 4 2

Best Version: 40%

— This section contains spoilers! —


  • For the short time you're playing it, it's pretty fun.
  • The cartoon graphics and playful music is perfect for the game.
  • Supporting the link cable was a nice way to allow friends to challenge each other after they mastered the single-player option.
  • The different animals have different play styles which takes a little getting used to.


  • Several of the features from the arcade game have been eliminated from this version of the game including the tournament bracketing system for single player mode and the more interesting bonus games.
  • Even though you can control the speed of your throw by holding the button a little longer, I ended up beating the game without ever using it. More effort should have been spent on requiring the mastery of this skill to beat the game.


  • The game is too easy and too short. I beat the AI it in about 20 minutes on my very first attempt. If I had paid money for it, I would have been angry. The game should have either included more animals or become more difficult on subsequent play-throughs.


Box Art




Language Native Transliteration Translation
English (Europe) King of the Zoo
English (North America) Penguin Wars
Japanese ぺんぎんくんwars vs. Pengin Kun Wars Vs. Penguin Kun Wars Vs.


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