A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game is easy enough for young kids to play, but it won't provide enough challenge or depth to satisfy older or more experienced gamers. Players build towers to hurl projectiles like ice cubes, icicles, and snow men at invading animals. When defeated, animals become stunned (stars ring around their heads) and they disappear.
What's it about?
DEFENDIN' DE PENGUIN is a kid-friendly spin on the \"Tower Defense\" style of strategy games, where gameplay typically consists of players having to defend a town by placing siege towers and other defenses along the roads leading into it to repel waves of enemies. The game stars Little Blue, a plucky penguin who, with the help of Professor Profi's inventions, defends penguin villages in the arctic from animals who are trying to steal their fish.
A typical level is laid out with a town in the center and roads leading in and out of it. Waves of animals –- such as walruses, turtles, bears and wolves –- will start to walk down the road towards town. If too many animals are able to pass through town and escape with a stolen fish, you'll lose the level. Players must repel the animals by strategically placing towers along the roadside that hurl projectiles like ice cubs, icicles, snowballs, and even snowmen at them until they become stunned and disappear. Each of the nine tower type has a different range, speed and effectiveness (ice cube towers, for example, are effective against hard-shelled animals like turtles, while icicle towers are particularly effective against walruses). Towers can be upgraded to make them stronger, and players can control Little Blue to run around and pick up extra coins, power-ups, and fish.
Is it any good?
Defendin' De Penguin is geared towards the 12-and-under age group and is a decent enough introduction to the genre, but it will have limited appeal to older players owing to the simplistic and ultimately repetitive nature of its gameplay. Stages could benefit from being shorter instead of dragging on with little interaction required from the player. The game is also hampered by dated graphics (think Nintendo 64 era) and an overbearing soundtrack ill-suited to a strategy title.
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