Pengo

Name:

Pengo

Company: Atari
Model #:
CX-5236
Programmers:
Sean W. Hennessy (Program) &
Jerome Domurat (Graphics)
Year: 1983
Released?
Yes
Notes:
Port of the 1982 Sega Coin-op

 

Back before Sega got into the home console market they were an arcade game manufacturer.  And while Sega eventually did manufacture games for home systems under their own brand, they still licensed several of their more popular games to Atari.  While Pengo wasn't exactly an arcade smash hit, it did do fairly well on the home console scene.  

 

As the title suggests, the main character in Pengo is a penguin and a mean one at that.  Like any normal penguin Pengo spends his days smashing Sno-bees between large blocks of ice.  Sno-bees are nasty little furry guys with ice picks and hammers who would just love to have penguin for dinner.  Sno-bees hatch from eggs hidden in blocks of ice, and since Pengo's world is made up of nothing but blocks of ice this is a problem.  It's Pengo's job to destroy all the Sno-bees and their eggs once and for all to make the arctic safe for penguins everywhere.

 

Pengo has one weapon at his disposal, ICE!  The arctic is full of it, so you might as well use it to your advantage.  Sno-bees smash quite nicely between two large blocks of ice, so put all your penguin muscle to work and push that ice!  Besides smashing them, you can can stun Sno-bees by pushing against the sides of the level.  If a wandering Sno-bee happens to touch a wall your pushing he will be stunned for a few seconds, during this time you can destroy them by touching them.  You can also stun Sno-bees by lining up all the diamond blocks, which will net you big bonus points as well.  Sno-bee eggs can be destroyed by breaking the ice blocks they're in.

 

 Pengo shines particularly brightly on the 5200 as it is almost an exact copy of its arcade counterpart.  However one thing that couldn't be ported to the home consoles was Pengo's music.  Originally Pengo used a song called "Popcorn" by a group called Hot Butter.  Since Atari wasn't about to pay anybody royalties on a song, they decided to create their own music for the game.  Pengo is an interesting game, and one of the only games to have a penguin in a starring role.  It combines action, quick thinking, and strategy all into one awesome little package.

 

Version Cart Text Description
7/27/83 Pengo 7-27 Mid-level work in progress
8/10/83 Pengo 8-10-83 Almost complete
9/2/83 Pengo EPROM Cartridge 9-02-83 Final version

 

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