Are you looking for a new game to help you kill some time while sitting at the doctor’s office or on the six-hour cross country flight? Supersolid Ltd has released a title that might be for you with Super Penguins, but does Super Penguins hold up or is it just a hot mess of a reflex runner clone?
Super Penguins take inspiration from the mobile giant hit TempleRun, but that inspiration is utilized poorly. Super Penguins uses story similiar to Angry Birds in that the evil octopi have stolen the penguins’ fish and it is their mission to regain the fish from the octopi.
You start the game by selecting a penguin character to run the levels with; you are given one penguin to start. You can unlock new penguins by completing tasks like “liking” the game on Facebook, or purchasing them using fish that you gather in level runs. The fish you gather is used as Super Penguins‘ currency; you can play the entire game by gathering fish on your own or use real world money and purchase fish to help speed up your process. Along with new characters, the fish currency can also be used to purchase power up upgrades, including Rocket Time (causes you to skip parts of levels by flying over them), or Fish Sucker (causing your penguin to gather all fish near it with out having to swerve to collect them). Each upgrade is utilized for a short time frame which you can upgrade in the store with more fish purchases to extend their length.
The levels that you run on are a straight-forward affair. Unlike Temple Run that requires you to time turns and jumps, Super Penguins has you running straight ahead, placing obstacles in your way to add a little difficulty. Some of the obstacles are surprises, but even when they are sprung on you, it does little to add challenge to the game. You avoid these obstacles by tilting your device left or right causing your penguin to swerve side to side between lanes. You can also jump by tapping on the screen. These controls are simple, yet surprisingly wonky at times with input lag from touch to actual on screen movement.
The visual of the game is childish in nature with a very cartoonish look. Based on the look and simplicity of the game I figured I would let my eight-year old daughter give it a shot to see if I wasn’t the desired audience for this title. After a few playthroughs of the game, my daughter said to me “Dad, this game is stupid, Temple Run is a lot better and more fun.” From the mouths of babes, truth is spoken.
The saving grace of this title is that it is a free-to-play game; you only need to spend money if you wish to speed the process up of buying unlockables. There are much better options out there to spend your time on, which in a world being overrun with free-to-play games, is getting extremely limited on mobile devices.