Air Penguin

 
(i)

 

Amusing tilt game tempts players to download other apps.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Hard to win. The mechanics are simple enough, but learning the correct degree of tilt is challenging -- and makes all the difference in how successful you are while playing.

Violence & scariness

Sharks chomp at the penguin hero, sometimes gobbling it, but no blood is shown.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

An ad appears at the top of the logo screen as the game is loading. The game also uses incentives to get players to earn additional "fishes" -- which are in-game currency. Some of those are earned by downloading free games, but to earn others, you'll need to buy other apps.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Air Penguin is a tilt-based game for iOS devices. Players assume the role of a penguin trying to reunite with family members after global warming causes the glaciers to break apart. The story is secondary, though, as the focus is on bouncing from iceberg to iceberg, avoiding sharks, swordfish, and other obstacles and staying out of the water. The shark chomps are a bit scary for very young players (who may be watching an older sibling play the game), but the real concern for parents is the ability to earn more 'fish' -- the game's currency -- by downloading other apps. Several of these other apps are free, but some carry a cost. The fish can be used to buy items that make the game easier (like a one-time use life vest should you fall in the water or a credit to shrink the size of obstacles.). It's worth noting that fish can also be earned during the course of the game by navigating your bird around the ice so that kids do not have to download other apps to gain currency in this game.

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QUALITY
 

The key to success in the app store, it seems, is to include birds in your game. Air Penguin features another flightless fowl bouncing from point to point. That's much like Tiny Wings, but this game uses the iDevice's tilt function rather than gravity to move the bird around. And that requires the controls to be perfect. Unfortunately, they're not in this app. As you advance through the 100 levels, the obstacles increase, which makes the control problems more noticeable. And while it's a decision that was obviously made for gameplay, it's odd that the game ends when your penguin hero falls in the water. Last we checked, penguins could swim....

The push to earn fish, the in-game currency, by downloading and playing other apps (some of which cost money) is a bit annoying. Parents might want to talk to their kids about this kind of marketing. Since you can earn fish by simply playing the game, it isn't necessary to downloading other apps. On the whole, this app is entertaining, and is the very definition of bite-sized gaming.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$0.99
Release date:April 14, 2011
Category:Arcade Games
Publisher:GAMEVIL Inc.
Version:1.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.0 or later

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old September 18, 2011
 

It's fun, but it's nothing special

Air Penguin is a fun and challenging game. There is noticeable consumerism, but overall it is a harmless and entertaining game.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Kid, 11 years old May 4, 2011
 
its the best game ever!
What other families should know
Educational value

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