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Pengo - The Atari Times


Attack this Opus for the 2600
by Jess LaFleur

July 24, 2002
Pengo is one of the more recent games I've bought and never played until recently. I have a set of the games I like to play and they often get rotated around as I get new games and Pengo just got tossed into the mix anyways here is my review.

The Game
The game is fun, what can I say. You are a penguin firstly hence the name of the game being Pengo. You are surrounded by a bunch of other birds and monsters that try to get you. But thanks to the field of blocks around you and your penguin block pushing skills, you can squish those other things right good. If the block you push has another block in that direction right near it, the block falls apart, the monsters will also crush blocks but will never toss them. There are flashing blocks and blocks with another flashing thing in them which, when put together three in a row, give you a huge bonus and stuns the monsters. These flashing blocks can't be destroyed. If the monsters are touching the walls, you can also stun them by pushing against that wall.

Since this game was made in 1984, the graphics are quite good. The sprites have been done really well and there is visible flicker, but its not very annoying, not nearly as much as Pac-Man The playing field is full screen and has colours all on the border. There is an start screen and a game over screen. Although the animation of the penguin wandering left and right at the bottom of the screen is always the same it makes the game look of a professional quality. The sprites are multi coloured and the animations are very well done.

The sound was also very good. A team of people actually created the sound on this game and they put a lot of effort into it and it shows. The sound effects and music are very good. The music can get boring if you listen to it for more than 5 minutes at a time but if you are playing you hardly notice it. After a while a television saver pops in and the music will stop saving you from insanity.

The control is easy and the button moves the block in the direction you are facing it. The game is very responsive but Pengo does not move very fast so if you aren't very good at planning where you are moving this may not be easy for you as the monsters are not slow.

This is a great game to spend some time playing on, although quite rare, It is one of the better rare games. It is most likely rare since it was made in 1984 during the video game crash and systems such as the Colecovision and Intellivision. This is also a game that can get you frustrated especially if you are getting very far. Pengo has some addictiveness to it but is easy to just play a few minutes of and doesn't require a lot of time to just pick up and play a little.

Still waiting on his royalty check from Sega.

Here's a colorful title screen for ya!
It can be tricky to figure a way to get the super blocks three in a row. 
You get fewer points if you line them up against he wall.
After each round, your score is tallied up.
System: 2600
Publisher: Atari
Genre: Action
Graphics Score: 80%
Sound & Music Score: 68%
Gameplay Score: %
Control Score: 75%

Final Score: 76%

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