Parents' Guide to


By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Warped brutal funhouse of frustration tests gamer skills.

Game Mac , PlayStation 4 , Windows , Xbox One 2015
Penarium Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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Is It Any Good?

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Every kid has dreamed of joining the circus one day, but what if that dream became your worst nightmare? That's the premise behind Penarium. As Willy, players are put through a series of challenges, trying to appease the crowd while attempting not to get chopped into chunks, burnt to a crisp, shot full of holes, or blown to bits at the whim of the ringmaster. Most games have a bit of a learning curve, starting off simple and gradually getting harder as the players' skills improve. Penarium takes a different approach, tossing the player off the top of that learning curve without a parachute.

Calling Penarium "difficult" is an understatement. The fact is, you're going to die ... a lot. The game is so fast and so random, you're forced to rely on lightning-quick reflexes and a lot of luck to progress very far. Even if you think you've learned every pattern of every trap and got your timing down to a science, you're still going to end up a chunky, pixelated mess on the circus floor more times than you'll be able to count. It's a nerve-racking, stress-inducing experience that'll leave you a quivering ball of anxiety in the end, but somehow it's still an addictively masochistic game that's hard to stop playing. Just be careful not to destroy whatever system you're playing it on when you start throwing things.

Game Details

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