For this week I have decided to pick a game based on the weather, it sounds kind of lame when I say it that way but stick with me here. It’s November now so it’s time for winter, and based on the weather here winter has definitely come. When I think of cold and snow one of the first things that comes to mind is little penguins all dressed up in their tuxedos. Apparently game developers in Japan like penguins too, based on the amount of penguin games that came out for the Famicom that we never got here. The game I’m thinking of is Antarctic Adventure starring Pentarou who went on to star in a lot of other Konami games. The really cool thing about this series that a lot of people probably don’t know is that a really popular game designer worked on it back in the day; that designer is Hideo Kojima, the man behind games like Metal Gear. He didn’t work on this game specifically, but he worked on the sequel called Penguin Adventure that was released for the MSX.
Anyways you star as an Antarctic Penguin named Pentarou who must race around research station bases that are in Antarctica and all owned by different countries like Australia, US, France, New Zealand, Argentina, UK, and Japan. This is a little bit different then your typical racing game, you can see Pentarou and the obstacles that he will have to avoid making it a bit like a platforming game at parts. There are tons of crevices to dodge, hungry sea lions and holes in the ice to get in your way. The catch is you only have a limited amount of time to make it to the next base before you lose a life.
While you are trying to avoid everything coming at you, you have to watch out for fish that will jump out because if you grab them you will earn bonus points, which are important to get a high score which was important in a lot of early games. Watch out for a blinking flag to get the propeller beanie and if you hit B it lets your little penguin buddy fly for a short period of time to avoid the obstacles.
If you get through the ten stages you complete the game, but there really isn’t anything for an ending. Once you reach the end you are sent back to the beginning to play through again but with increased difficulty. With a cute penguin as the main character this really doesn’t seem like it’s a hard game, almost comes across as kiddie but I assure you it really does get tricky. Sometimes it just doesn’t feel like you have enough time to get to the station so you really have to be careful to avoid tripping or hitting seals ’cause every second counts. If you do happen to run out of time you have to start over, no three lives or multiple chances here you are sent right back to the title screen to begin your journey again.
This game isn’t hard to find and is pretty inexpensive so it’s definitely worth checking out, though I do suggest turning down the volume since there is only one song and it’s constantly repeating, so it kind of gets on your nerves after a while. So if you want to spend some time in a winter wonderland and not freeze while doing it, check out this game it’s a lot of fun!