Penguin Run is a Korean app about a cute penguin trying to avoid objects in its treacherous trek down an icy slope. I was pretty entertained by the app, but I was more excited by the fact that I recognized the language in the App Store description as being Korean. My fondness for languages helps make me the geek I am today. Despite the foreign language instructions and the humorous English translation beneath, the game is simple enough that it only took a few seconds for me to figure it out.
Tilting the device from side to side will move the penguin left or right. I’m not sure what the craze is with these flightless, swimming birds, but people seem to be just as fascinated with penguins as vampires and wizards. The goal is to go as far down the slope as possible without losing all your “life eggs.” The little pink eggs in the upper left corner are your life meter. If you get hit with something three times, the game is over. There are little eggs scattered throughout the slope. Catching them can be problematic sometimes. There were times when I had eggs all over the place to pick from, and there were times when I barely saw a single one. No matter how many eggs there are, the meter only fills to five eggs.
That brings me to my next point of interest: the game resets its landscape during each replay. Normally, I memorize where obstacles are so that I can avoid them more easily the next time around. This game is completely different each time you play. This can be a bonus when the obstacle placement was ridiculous in the previous round. It can be obnoxious when you can’t find any eggs to collect for more life.
Down in the right corner, there’s a jump meter that refills over time once you use it. The penguin takes a long jump to help you over strings of obstacles. You can also tilt the penguin and change directions while in midair. If you land on an obstacle, it’ll still remove one of your life eggs.
The app keeps track of your five highest scores. Your score is measured in how many meters down the slope you ran. If points were awarded for effort, I’d get a much better score.