TUAW's Daily iPhone App: Air Penguin
Air Penguin from GAMEVIL is one of those deceptively simple, casual pick-up-and-play games for US$0.99 on the App Store. What I look for in these types of games are polish and a great control scheme. Luckily, Air Penguin has both. Your goal is to jump and slide your way through levels until your penguin safely arrives at the end of the series of obstacles and challenges in your way. Usually this means having your penguin jump or slide around obstacles, or ride various sea critters around obstacles. You pick up what look like Goldfish crackers for scoring, although the primary goal is to simply complete a level without falling in the water. Apparently your penguin cannot swim very well.
The controls are based on tilt only and cannot be changed. The good news is that the controls are responsive without being too twitchy. It is possible to adjust the sensitivity, and before you begin a level, there's a countdown that allows you to level your iPhone (resetting the tilt). You can change the penguin's direction in the air, which is useful because certain levels require you to juke around obstacles while in midair -- tricky but not impossible. Sometimes you're able to flick the iPhone up at the end of a run and go flying through the air (the dream of many penguins). When you're not airborne, you might be sliding across the snow, controlling the velocity and direction with tilt. You may also ride an animal, again controlling speed and direction with tilt.
Air Penguin is simplicity itself, and its speedy gameplay, polished graphics and sound and adequate controls make it a pleasant diversion for kids and adults. I have no idea what the extra fish you can buy via in-app purchases are used for, but you get 50 free fish for fun. You won't need much beyond the $0.99 price to have a quick, enjoyable game. Check out Air Penguin for cute, casual fun.
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