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New Air Penguin game bounces to the top of the charts

by Andrew Koziara

Air Penguin, the latest app from Gamevil, is easily one of the best tilt-controlled games I've played. It's been described as a top-down version of Doodle Jump, and it has the charm and fun repetitive gameplay to match. That, and penguins are easily my favorite animal.

Air Penguin puts you in the webbed "happy" feet of a penguin trying to save his family after the horrible evils of global warming begin to melt the polar caps. Forget that this means humanity is probably drowning right about now: You've got a wife and kids to save!

The gameplay utilizes tilt controls as you bounce from ice platform to ice platform, avoiding the water for some odd reason, as well as other various hazards. Eventually, you land on a long chunk of ice and begin to slide down it, avoiding seals and pitfalls. At the end of these platforms, you can jump and fly for a while, turning your feet into propellers (because who needs wings, right?) and eventually return to the bouncing phase of the game. You collect what look like goldfish crackers in each level, which can be used to purchase little safety nets for specific obstacles. If you run out, you can buy more of these. There are a hundred heroic levels in the story, as well as an addicting endless survival mode.

Every creature in the ocean is trying to stop you or help you, from hungry sharks, jumping swordfish and octopi that ink your screen, to helpful starfish platforms, surfboard turtles and whales that launch you across a level. The game is packed with creativity and humor. The art is very well done, as is the sound design.

The game isn't really perfect. The controls take some getting used to, and some of the platforming seems off. It also has a tendency to crash every now and again, though not too frequently. Game Center, Twitter and Facebook integration are all here. For everything this game offers, it's easy to see why it's the emperor penguin of the app store charts right now. Don't miss out.

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