Monday, November 14, 2016

PenguRescue - iOS Ryview

PenguRescue, by Toka.

Ryan's Rycommendation: A great game if you're a parent looking for occupy you're kid for awhile, a bit tougher if you're a casual adult app user; this game requires pretty undivided attention. If you have some time to kill where you can focus 100%, this is for you.

Not a great game if you hate penguins.

PenguRescue is a time management puzzle game with a pretty straightforward premise and mechanic: you swipe a rock around the screen to keep penguins from falling to their deaths (because in this reality, penguins can't swim). It definitely has a bit of a lemmings vibe.

The first few levels start off like most puzzle games with some pretty easy designs. Mostly built to help you learn the game. It ramps up pretty fast though, with level 4 of 15 (in the free version) already a bit of a challenge if you're going for perfection. Most of the difficulty stems from making twitch movements for the block to narrowly avoid sending a penguin to its watery demise (gore not included), and penguins with forking paths that keep you on your toes.

Seriously, can't you guys slow down or something?

There are 2 game modes: Campaign and Survival. They use the same levels, but campaign is centered around a consistent number of lives from level 1, pushing you to play through each level in sequence with consistency and prowess. Survival is a single level, time based system designed to be more of an arcade style experience, as far as I can tell.

Campaign was a bit frustrating for me, since I could not find a way to start from anything other than level 1. I kind of understand this requirement given the concept of the campaign life system as described above, but it means you play through the super easy levels way too many times. And this isn't a game where you get to half ass your attention. This is a full on devotion app where you'd better be watching and active the whole time otherwise you'll have a penguin massacre on your hands.

I also am not a huge fan of how finicky the swiping is. I don't know if it's my inadept fingers or what, but it was difficult to make precise movements when you have to swipe 3 times in multiple directions in quick succession. This is actually a frequent complaint of mine when dealing with action puzzle games. I'm not big on the "physical requirements" in puzzle games; I'd generally rather them be a bit more cerebral.

Still, for a free puzzle game, PenguRescue is pretty solid. It's a simple mechanic that's used to make some pretty interesting and challenging level designs. The game has enough difficulty to make it very entertaining when you play the latter half, and if you're a parent looking for a good app for a kid, this is a great way to hold their undivided attention.

There is also a premium version which adds several more levels and removes the banner ads. I found the ads undistracting, so I would recommend the premium version if you want to double your content, but I really don't think it's worth it just to avoid the ads (unless you're easily distracted).

You can download PenguRescue (free) on iOS here.

Let me know what you think of the game in the comments!

Until next time,


Updated 11/15/16 - corrected the game company's name

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