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Attack of the Mutant Penguins (Jaguar) artwork

Attack of the Mutant Penguins (Jaguar) review


"Who even played an Atari Jaguar back in its day? The consoles failure has ultimately led to a strong but small cult of collectors dedicated to experiencing Atari's“64-Bit” powerhouse. The majority of the consoles library consisted of ports of awkward 16-bit/32-bit hybrids, leaving few exclusives of interest. However, one of the those exclusives is Attack of the Mutant Penguins, an incredibly bizarre arcade style overhead platform game now thrown into obscurity."



Who even played an Atari Jaguar back in its day? The consoles failure has ultimately led to a strong but small cult of collectors dedicated to experiencing Atari's“64-Bit” powerhouse. The majority of the consoles library consisted of ports of awkward 16-bit/32-bit hybrids, leaving few exclusives of interest. However, one of the those exclusives is Attack of the Mutant Penguins, an incredibly bizarre arcade style overhead platform game now thrown into obscurity.

The complexity of the game's basic mechanics can be overly frustrating, especially for the uneducated. That's the primary flaw of Attack of the Mutant Penguins. It creates a simple premise but layers it with so many small external factors making it nothing short of an insanity test. Even to finish the first level, you will have to work at an alarming pace to complete the tasks you have been given before the time runs out.

Even breaking down and explaining the core components is challenging. The game's sees Earth under attack from aliens in the form of penguins. The reason why they have adopted of the form of these animals is because they were the first animals they encountered, believing them to be the dominant species. Disguised as penguins, they place a monstrous weapon of mass destruction on our soil, the overbearing Doomscale. The Doomscale sits at the heart of the level, a huge purple cone with two scales on each side. The aliens will trigger the doomscale by weighing one side down with their army of mutant penguins thus destroying the world!

Two intergalactic heroes have followed the mutant penguins from the far corners of space to stop their heinous plans. Armed with a baseball bat, a frying pan and a horde of little blue monsters called gremlins, they are prepared for anything! Collecting gremlins and dropping them into the many treasure chests will allow them to destroy the chests internally so you can collect any power ups inside. The primary items will be the letters that spell out your weapon of choice. When all letters are collected, you have your weapon.

As the mutant penguins make their progress to the doomscale, it is up to the heroes to use their weapons to bash any alien that moves. Hitting aliens will release power orbs, which will eventually power up your weapon enough for you to wipe out hordes of mutant penguins in seconds, ensuring that the penguins of Earth are the victors. Unfortunately, your powered up weapon will only last about ten seconds before you have to start collecting again. Thankfully, the levels are littered with tricks and traps to help you delay the penguins from reaching the doomscale. You can use gremlins to activate machines to chop up the mutant penguins, change the route the mutant penguins take to the doomscale and collect power-ups which allow you to breathe fire or learn some kung-fu to take down the horde.

The games unique arcade style is quite refreshing but the overly complicated levels and the short time you have to complete them make it a grinding challenge. So, if you're a determined maniac, you grind your vigour away at the main game or the daunting pandemonium mode, where the amount of mutant penguins is infinite. The game is a Jaguar exclusive, which makes it a rare breed for a console that relied on so many ports and remakes. It's a game made for Jaguar collectors and obscure game hunters but will be a source of novelty and frustrating for everyone else.

Rating: 6/10

Vorty's avatar
Community review by Vorty (April 25, 2014)

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EmP posted April 25, 2014:

Vorty! No review feedback for you, just a scrolling ! to register my delighted surprise.

!
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Vorty posted April 25, 2014:

yes, I'm back. Kinda.
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overdrive posted April 30, 2014:

Well, this is a pretty damn good kinda, then!

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