You may have noticed that the PlayStation really doesn't have any kids' games. So what are kids' games anyway? Some say all video games are for kids, but we don't listen to them. The fact is, young lads seem to be drawn to cutesy mascot games with rel-atively simple objectives. Punky Skunk easily fits the bill, providing all the above elements and sever-Jjgs al more old-school attributes guaranteed to keep junior busy for a while.
Punky is basically a cute little skunk who knocks out his enemies by shooting a cloud of stinky gas in their general direction. Beyond that special talent he can also jump, and depending on the power-up, bounce around on a pogo stick or float about catching wind thermals with his parachute. Other special power-ups available to Punky are Rollerblades, jetpacks and snowboards, just to name a few.
Clearing a level is completely old-school side-scrolling action: Gather some stars, find power-ups, shoot enemies and move on to the next. The game itself draws (indirectly) from many old classics: Dig Dug, Sonic, Mario, etc. Nothing original to speak of, just a lot of the good stuff that worked well in the past recycled for the Skunk. It sounds like a cliche, but kids probably will like this game a lot. Heck Beav, you may even like it too.
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Punky Skunk may seem a few years late for the Sonic clone wars, but it really doesn't play like Aero the Acrobat, Bubsy or any of those other hedgehog copycats. Punky Skunk is an easy, slow-paced side-scroller that, when at its best, is reminiscent of Mickey Mouse: Castle of Illusion. But 90 percent of the time it comes across as no-frills platform rehash. Let's forget that the graphics--aside from being extra colorful-look straight out of a Super NES game (and don't even get me started on the mega-happy marching band music). The big problem here is that the gameplay is too basic. Although you get more than 30 stages, they're all pretty short and modeled after a few simple styles. Some have you riding air currents with a parachute, some have you roller skating, snowboarding, bouncing on a pogo stick or clawing through dirt Dig-Dug style. It may sound novel, but since most of the levels are ultra-easy, the game quickly becomes monotonous. Even more strange: Some stages are super hard (fortunately, you can save before each level to make passing these trouble spots less frustrating). Now I know this game is geared toward a younger crowd. Trouble is. I'm in my late 20s. And while I certainly have nothing against old-school gameplay, Punky Skunk is a little too preschool for my tastes.
Punky Skunk is definitely aimed at kids; it probably won't keep older players that interested. Shooting stink gas, bouncing on pogoes, roller skating and parachuting is fine but I've seen it all before in years past. That said, I have to admit that while the levels aren't too original or complex they do provide just the right amount of variety to keep you interested. It's safe to say that for a kid it should be pretty darn enjoyable.
Punky Skunk is a surprisingly decent 2-D platformer that's very obviously aimed at the 8 and under crowd. The average "older" gamer will romp through it in a day or two without much trouble, but I honestly think the younger crowd will really enjoy the game's simplicity and bright, vivid graphics. The power-ups are neat, but many of them aren't all that useful, and the mini-games are fun, but very easy. Good for children.
Punky Skunk Is a PlayStation game, isn't it? For a while there I thought I was playing a 16-Bit side-scroller. True, there's nothing wrong with that, but at the same time using at least some of the PlayStation's technology can't be a bad thing, can it? The game is fun-leaning heavily toward the easy side of things--but that's just not enough to make this one stand out from other, more interesting side-scrollers already on store shelves.