|Mark Hahn (Programmer), Courtney Granner
(Graphics), Andrew Fuchs & Jeff Gusman (sound)
game by Sega
Pengo was popular coin-op from Sega (back before they were
into home systems), which was licensed by Atari for its
consoles. While the Atari 5200 and 400/800 versions of the
Pengo are fairly common, the 2600 version is quite rare.
This is most likely because it was the last version to be
released and didn't hit stores until mid 1984 when the market
was already in free fall. Strangely, Pengo was
released under the Atari label and not Sega as one might expect.
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
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 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. Pengo shines particularly brightly
on the 2600 and is almost an exact copy of its arcade
counterpart, only losing some detail in the graphics (which is
to be expected). Pengo was one of the first 2600 games do
be done by a team of programmers rather than one person, and it
shows. Pengo is one of the forgotten gems of the 2600, and
deserves a second look.
||Early version with arcade style
to 2600 Software