Pengy Has a Dream ($2.99) by h8games is an endearing infinite flyer about a small penguin with big dreams. If you loved other endless runner games like Tiny Wings, Alto’s Adventure, and even Ski Safari 2, and you can’t resist cute animals like me, then you’ll want to have Pengy Has a Dream in your iOS game collection.
When Apple first launched the App Store back in 2008, I remember one of the best game genres for the platform at the time was the infinite runner, especially when you had true gems like Canabalt. Over the years, we had more and more infinite runners with different variations, but they were all pretty much the same — get as far as you can to get a new high score. The charm of the endless runner has been worn down in recent times, from what I’ve noticed, and they definitely aren’t as popular as they once were. However, after having a break from the genre, I think it’s nice to come back to it every now and then, which is why I was drawn in to Pengy Has a Dream when I saw it on the App Store. For what it’s worth, the game does not disappoint for your quick mobile gaming fixes.
Visually speaking, Pengy Has a Dream is gorgeous with a mixture of polished modern graphics that are somewhat reminiscent of low-poly design aesthetics due to the jaggedness of some visual elements. And because the game is about a penguin and his dreams, everything looks rather cartoonish and whimsical, which only adds to the charm. The colors in the game range from soft pastels to muted earthy tones to bold and vibrant hues, all of which are rather appealing to the eyes when you think about it. The lighting and shadows are also done nicely, giving the game much more depth than what shows up on the initial surface. There are animated cutscenes in Pengy Has a Dream that are done rather well, and are fun to watch as they tell players about how Pengy explores his options for making his dreams come true. Animations in the game are buttery smooth and fluid, so I had no issues with lag on my iPhone 7. A playful jingle serves as the game’s soundtrack, and while it does get a bit repetitive after a while, it still adds another nice layer of charm to the package. The sound effects are adorable as well, as you get to hear Pengy himself let out little squeaks of happiness as he takes flight. The developers did a pretty great job with the visual and audio design of Pengy Has a Dream, considering that it’s their first App Store release.
Since the game is an infinite runner (or in this case, a flyer), there’s only one game mode and the objective is as clear cut as they come: get as far as you can with Pengy before you touch the ground and then it’s game over. Your score is dependent on how far you manage to “fly,” and there are a handful of different goals that you can attempt to do to keep things interesting. These objectives will be shown in the bottom left corner of the screen as you play, so you can easily keep track of your progress to completing them (three are shown at a time). Additionally, after you reach certain thresholds, you also unlock different wardrobe pieces for Pengy, giving him a fresh new look whenever you play.
Controls in Pengy Has a Dream are intuitive and responsive. While they’re pretty straightforward, it does take some time to practice and master them if you want to be efficient at the game and get the best possible score. In case you didn’t already know, Pengy is a penguin and we all know penguins can’t fly. However, penguins can slide on ice, and that’s exactly how Pengy plans to take flight to achieve his dreams. Players will draw ice on the screen with their finger, and when Pengy lands on these ice slicks, he slides and then will fly off. You repeat the process of drawing ice to get him as far as you can while exploring different landscapes that he’s never seen before. But keep an eye out on that bar at the top of the screen, as it tells you how much ice you can draw — if the gauge is empty, you’re out of ice and need to collect snowflakes to refill your ice supply, so watch out. Keep your eyes peeled for ice slicks that are already on the ground, though, as he can slide off of those as well, and even use ramps and trampolines to gain some extra momentum. However, the moment Pengy touches the ground or snow, then that flight ends, so try and keep him in the air as long as possible!
While I’ve only started playing Pengy Has a Dream this morning, I’m finding the experience to be rather enjoyable so far. I know that infinite runner style games have gotten a bit tiresome over the years, but I feel like Pengy brings in a unique gameplay concept that makes it a bit more challenging than the typical infinite runner, since you only have a limited supply of ice to get you as far as possible. It requires a bit of practice to get good at this game because of the resource management, but it’s still fun and a great gem to play for quick game sessions. Plus, the delightful cartoon-style graphics are fun to look at as you play, the sounds are soothing, and the controls are perfectly optimized for touch screen devices. Pengy Has a Dream is a great addition to anyone’s mobile game collection.
I recommend Pengy Has a Dream to anyone who is a fan of cute animals and intuitive quick-play games. You can find Pengy Has a Dream on the App Store as a universal download for your iPhone and iPad for just $2.99. There are no in-app purchases.