It's called football

Soccer Runner is like Subway Surfers for soccer fans

PK Endless Runner

Endless runner PK hits Windows Phone

Windows Phone Games

Get addicted to Free the Network for Windows Phone

Windows Phone Games

The sequel to the popular Dhoom:3 The Game is here… time for the Jet Speed!

Windows Phone Games

Hypernaut for Windows Phone is an endless runner you should download right now

Windows Phone Games

Heroes of Order and Chaos from Gameloft does battle on Windows Phone and Windows 8

Windows Phone Games

Play as a skateboarding dinosaur in Dopey and the Meteors for Windows Phone

Windows Phone Games

Rail Rush celebrates Easter with the latest update

Windows Phone Games

Dark Lands updated, adds cloud saving for game progress

Windows Phone Games

Subway Surfers bumped for New York City World Tour on Windows Phone

Windows Phone Games

FIFA 14 heads out the tunnel on Windows Phone

From the Forums

Pocket Avenger escapes the zombie menace, lands on Windows Phone

Windows Phone Games

Gameloft launches World at Arms on Windows Phone 8

Windows Apps

Play as the Avengers on your Surface in Marvel Run Jump Smash!

Windows Phone Games

2020: My Country breaks ground on Windows Phone and Windows RT

Windows Phone Games

Throne Wars, new MMO from makers of Royal Revolt, invades Windows Phone

Windows Phone Games

Asphalt 8: Airborne is now free on both Windows 8 and Windows Phone

Windows Phone Games

Microsoft soft launches Throne Together for Windows Phone and Windows 8, Xbox features to come

Windows Phone Games

Seasons, an endless runner game for Windows Phone, free for a limited time

Windows Phone Games

Agent P dashes into the Windows Phone Store

< >
27

Hopping Penguin is one cool Windows Phone platforming game

Anybody remember a little Windows Phone 7 shoot-em-up called Corona? Even for an older game, Corona continues to impress with its beautiful anime-style artwork and intense bullet hell shooting action. I thought Finnish developer Kajak Games had stepped away from Windows Phone development after completing Corona, depriving us of their high quality indie games.

As it turns out, Kajak has quietly released quite a few games lately. Today I checked out the studio’s Hopping Penguin, a platformer/endless runner starring a vampire bat – I mean penguin. Mundane title aside, Hopping Penguin offers some very good artwork and lots of platforming goodness in a free to play package. Check out our impressions and video after the break.

Stopping the ice cream thieves

Hopping Penguin

Hopping Penguin opens with a cute little introduction sequence in which our nameless penguin inventor has created an ice cream machine – pretty much the best thing ever, if you ask me. He tucks the machine into bed for some reason and goes to sleep in the opposite bed, much like a 1950s sitcom. A suspicious bear lurks in the shadows…

 When the penguin awakes, his machine is gone. Oh noes! But the thief must have switched it on by accident, because he left a trail of popsicles and other frozen treats behind him. Mr. Popper does what any true-blooded penguin would do and sets out to take his machine back… With extreme prejudice.

Runnin’ and jumpin’

Hopping Penguin

Kajak’s latest game plays a lot like Rayman Fiesta Run, one of my favorite Windows Phone games. Your little penguin dude automatically runs forward at all times. Tapping anywhere on the screen will make him jump. He can also slide against walls and jump off of them, also like Rayman. A certain power up gives Mumble the ability to double jump; I wish he had the ability all the time since it’s a lot of fun to use.

Unlike Rayman, the penguin doesn’t seem to have a punching move. When he comes across enemies like walruses and carpenters (actually just walruses), Pengie deals with them the old fashioned way: by jumping on their heads. You have to stick with what works!

PenPen gets three lives per level, and he can even restart from checkpoint flags that he comes across. The goal in each level is to collect as much ice cream as possible and safely reach the hot air balloon at the end. You’ll receive a star rating based on how many popsicles and such you collected.

Hopping Penguin offers four distinct worlds with eight levels each. Penguin doesn’t have to stay in his snowy habitat; he also gets to visit the jungle, a desert, and a castle. Every world includes a hidden level that only unlocks when you find enough keys scattered throughout the normal levels.

Ads and In-App Purchases

Hopping Penguin

Although Hopping Penguin is free, it does display ads at the bottom of the screen during all non-gameplay portions (even the intro). These ads aren’t so bad in theory. But on the title screen the ad is actually layered over the “Play” button, which doesn’t look good. And on my Lumia 1520, the title screen has a weird graphical glitch in which the main artwork sort of repeats unevenly down at the bottom. See the problem in our hands-on video below.

If you don’t like the ads, a simple purchase of 1,000 ice creams for 99 cents or 2,000 for $1.49 will disable them. Ice creams (which you’ll collect during levels, remember) can be spent to unlock new characters like a female penguin and a walking egg. Considering that IAPs are completely optional and don’t affect the gameplay in any way, they provide a good way for dedicated players to support the developer.

One hopping penguin game

It’s easy to make an endless runner that never actually ends, such as the Temple Run series and its many clones. Designing actual levels and providing concrete goals for players takes a lot more work. Hopping Penguin shows a lot of effort, with bright and cheerful artwork, well-designed levels, and intuitive controls.

The graphical glitches that mar the bottom of the screen at times need to go, though. And the backgrounds have a little parallax scrolling, but they really would benefit from at least one additional layer. Still, other than those few imperfections this is a standout Windows Phone-exclusive platformer. And it has sound effects (unlike Corona)!

  • Hopping Penguin – Windows Phone 8 – 9 MB – Free – Store Link

QR: Hopping Penguin

Thanks to Davide Bonaccorso for the tip!

6
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Reader comments

Hopping Penguin is one cool Windows Phone platforming game

27 Comments

Hi,

 

I am the lead programmer of Hopping Penguin. We don't have a Lumia 1520 as a test device so we were unaware of this graphical bug. We'll have to fix it right away. :) What comes to the parallax backgrounds we initially had 3 layers scrolling there but for some reason the engine we use (cocos2d-x) couldn't handle it on WP8 so we thought performance was more important.

 

Nice article btw.

We have plans for more levels and a new world but I can't give you an estimate when those will be available. We'll update the game regularly as we add and fix stuff. We are also working with the Windows 8 version so we can get our game to Windows tablets as well. :)

Thanks for an amazing game, it is beautiful and really fun. Please add more levels and Xbox LIVE support, I would definetly pay for that.

Hi,

 

We made the game so that it doesn't show any ads with the first five levels. We wanted to give the players a good first feeling from the game. After the first five levels there are ads but only in menus, gameplay is always ad-free.
 

Hi,

I'm sorry that you have encountered problems. Please contact us at support@hoppingpenguin.com and explain the problem so we can fix it immediately.

 

You can try to reinstall the game if that helps. It should restore the purchased in app at startup if reinstalled.