Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
According to every sane person in the universe, penguins are nature's most perfect, most elegant, most badass animal. Their feet are snowshoes, their bellies are herring-filled toboggans, and they thrive in temperatures capable of turning a human into a meat popsicle within seconds.
Can penguin perfection possibly reach beyond what Morgan Freeman's soothing voice has already assured us they're capable of? Yes. Adventure Beaks is a platform runner by GameResort that involves penguins galore. These fat, flightless waterfowl hop, swim, and belly-flop their way through the Antarctic, and eventually make their way to the jungle. Their mission? Collect artifacts, treasure, and silly outfits.
There are several dozen stages to work through in Adventure Beaks. Each one is broken up by several checkpoints. Players will come to appreciate the frequency of these checkpoints before long as the difficulty ramps up quickly. Thankfully the game's swipe-based controls are spot-on, though they do take some practice. The penguin army will be ready to conquer the land, sea, and air in no time.
Each stage has branching paths stocked with treasure chests and artifact pieces. Artifact pieces are the most important collectable as they're necessary to unlock later levels. Treasure chests stock coins, power-ups, and (this is important) outfits. Each penguin can be customized with hats, clothes, and accessories. There are sets available, though mixing and matching is encouraged too.
The game begins with five reserve penguins. If one fails in its mission, the next in line picks up from the last triggered checkpoint. If all the penguins fall, the player loses all the artifacts and treasure they collected. Thankfully, more reserve penguins can be unlocked once enough artifacts are collected. These hunts encourage the player to re-visit levels in search of missed items. Since most of Adventure Beaks' levels have branching paths, it's actually quite fun to look at a stage with fresh eyes in an attempt to find fake walls, levers, moving floors, and other tricks and traps that may conceal an artifact piece or a treasure box.
What's particularly nice about working through Adventure Beaks is that collected treasure stays collected. In fact, items are held for safekeeping at each checkpoint, and then tallied up at the end of the stage. It's much less monotonous to hunt for artifact pieces when the game marks the pieces that have already been found. That said, missing an item and then instantly hitting a checkpoint can be frustrating, since the only way to loop back and collect the piece is to start the level all over again.
Adventure Beaks is tough, satisfying to play, and unspeakably cute. Is there anything more fetching - and redundant - than a treasure-hunting penguin wearing a tuxedo? I think not.