Available for Windows 10 PC, this free game is inspired by the classic puzzle game Lemmings and includes over 100 puzzle levels to tackle and an editor feature to create puzzle challenges of your own. The graphics are good, the gameplay is challenging, and overall, Pingus has the potential of being a fun way to pass the time. It just needs a little fine-tuning here and there to make the gaming experience more fluid.
The primary menu for Pingus offers up options to play the storyline mode, access the game's settings, play the levelsets mode and access the level editor. While Pingus fails to define the two modes at the menu, it appears the levelsets mode is a collection of either themed puzzles (Halloween, Christmas, etc.) or levels submitted by other players. Regardless as to the why, the levelset mode is filled with some very difficult puzzle levels to solve.
In each game mode, the goal for Pingus is to guide a group of penguins to their igloo, navigating across a series of obstacles. You need to a set number of penguins to safely reach the igloo to be successful and advance to the next puzzle level. The obstacles can be dug around, jumped over, and other actions. Pingus lacks a traditional how-to section. Instead, the game relies on a series of tutorials in the storyline mode. The tutorial island includes several puzzles that showcase one or more of the game's features. For example, the first tutorial level features the dig action for penguins, the next features the float action and then you face a puzzle that requires both actions for success. It's well constructed, and while it covers all the bases nicely, I couldn't help but wish it was more condensed.
A close-up view of the map resides in the center of the display, scoring information sits at the top, a thumbnail map of the entire path in the bottom left corner, and several control buttons scattered around the screen. Penguins fall from random locations at the top of the screen and automatically walk forwards on the maze. In true Lemmings style, if they hit an obstacle, the penguins reverse course and will not stop should they approach a cliff, watery pit or other danger.
To guide the penguins, you have action controls that line the left side of the display. Click or tap on an action control and then click on a penguin to initiate that ability. Actions are limited in number, giving the gameplay a nice level of difficulty as you devise a strategy to reach the igloo. Add that the penguins never stop moving and the difficulty level increases.
Fun, but needs a little fine tuning
Pingus is an entertaining Windows 10 game with potential. While the graphics are good and the game premise is filled with challenges, the game needs a little fine tuning before it can be a solid time waster.
For starters, the screen resolution is incredibly low causing the visuals to be squashed. I would have preferred the puzzle maze to be larger, allowing for you to not only make out the detail better but also make it easier to click on a penguin.
I also wouldn't mind seeing the tutorial portion of the game more condensed. Maybe have one level in which all the actions can be utilized. As is, the tutorial covers these actions well, but it takes forever to get to the full, storyline levels.
All in all, the gaming experience with Pingus was fun. You may have to squint a little and be patient as you work your way through the tutorial island, but none of these shortcomings are full deal breakers. Pingus is a Windows 10 PC game worth trying and with a little polishing, it couldd be a worthy game to spend a little down time with.
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.