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Penguin Land

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Released: 1984

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: Sega Master System

Publisher: Sega

Developer: Pony Canyon Inc

penguin land mainI never guessed penguins to be intergalactic space travellers, but after the exploits of the little fellows in Madagascar I suppose anything is possible. In addition to being able to fly spaceships, the penguins of Penguin Land have evolved so much that their beaks and wings can shatter brick. Despite their highly advanced brains and insanely powerful bills they’ve been unable to work out a way to safely transport their eggs – quite an evolutionary set back for the spacefaring species.

Still, the penguin’s loss is your gain as it allows you to tackle this quirky puzzle game for Sega’s 8-bit console. Starting off at the top of a hazard-filled stage, your aim is to dig your way through bricks, avoiding enemies such as polar bears until you reach your space station. Once your egg is safe, your fellow penguins will carry it off screen and you can start the next stage. Despite the evolved state of the penguin pushing it, the egg itself is still paper-thin meaning if it falls further than two blocks it will shatter. Enemies will also destroy the egg if they come into contact with it, meaning you need to work out a safe route through the labyrinth-like and surprisingly lengthy levels. Luckily egg shields, time bonuses and springs all exist to make your task that little bit easier, which is handy, as Sega’s game is infuriatingly tough in places.

In fact it’s so tough at times you’ll quickly fill a swear jar if you blindly rush through it. Take it slow and steady however — timer withstanding — and you’ll discover that Sega’s clever puzzle game still has a lot to offer.

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