March of the Penguins
Wow, a video game based on a documentary movie about penguins. Sure the movie was heartfelt and touching and the penguin is about as popular an animal there is right now. But a game based on a documentary?
OK, let's get down to it. The game has a sort of 'Lemmings'? feel to it as you must lead your penguins across the levels in order to help them complete their quest to finish their breeding cycle. OK, maybe not, the point of the game is to move your group of penguins from one side of the level to another by using ice steps, snowballs, bridges, ramps and so on. The fact that no penguins die, even if they fall off the screen may be a plus for some parents concerned about video game violence.
What makes no sense about the game is the introduction of tents and weird slides that turn the game into a joke. Using snow in plausible shapes to help the penguins keep moving is alright, and the introduction of true information about the little birds is educational enough, but then they ruin it by having them jump on tents like trampolines, as if penguins would do such a thing in a game based on a documentary movie. Had this been 'Happy Feet' where the mood is more jovial and the penguins are more animated then fine, but using these items only makes things seem cheap.
Graphically the game is really white, not that I would expect anything less since the game is in the Antarctic, so there isn't much to say about the background visuals or level design. The penguins move around in sort of a cute way, with there tidy little shuffle and bobbing heads.
The sound effects and background music loops fairly quickly and will make you want to turn it down as it brings nothing to the table.
I have nothing against educational games and I believe there is a place for them in our children's machines, but for as well put together the movie was the game is far less impressive. Poor sound, average graphics, boring tasks equal an abysmal experience.