Review – Club Penguin: Game Day!
The Scoop: Penguins battle it out to see who’s top bird in this colorful, cartoony, kids Wii party game.
The Setup: Club Penguin is an MMORPG for designed for kids between the ages of 6 and 14. Since its launch in 2005, New Horizon Interactive and Disney have made it their focus to keep the game and its community kid-friendly. Since the success of the online community, three spin-off video games have been released on Nintendo platforms—the first two being for the DS. The newest title, Club Penguin: Game Day! is the brand’s first venture to the console.
Being that this is a party game, I invited the usual suspects—James Baseman, Travis Washburn, and Jeffrey Volpe—to play. Although the four of us are in our mid-to-late 20s, we had a ton of fun with this colorful, whimsical Wii title.
What’s Hot: This game is made of win if you’re a kid. The graphics are excellent and vivid, and make you feel like you’re watching an animated cartoon. And the only thing needed to play Club Penguin: Game Day! is a Wiimote—no nunchucks or classic controllers needed!
At the beginning of the game, players create their own penguin character; they can either create a new one or download an existing penguin, if they have one, from Club Penguin’s website. Penguins are customizable from a variety of bright colors, whimsical eyes, and cartoon-like beaks. In story mode, players can continue to customize characters, swapping out eyes and beaks as they see fit.
There are three game modes to choose from: Story Mode, Tournament Play, and Quick Play. After trying out the Story Mode, we quickly realized that Club Penguin: Game Day! is a cleverly disguised game of conquest. Players work as a team as they attempt to take over an island, one area at a time, through winning a series of mini games. You can choose between four teams to join: Red Team, Blue Team, Green Team, and Yellow Team. We chose Blue Team, and began our noble quest in transforming the island into one giant Blue Team camp. In Story Mode, each area on the island features practice mini games, as well as the actual tournament. And for those who have a Club Penguin account, all progress and stamps (think achievement points) can be uploaded to your Club Penguin profile.
The instructions are clean and simple, all taking place on one screen with pictures along with simple text explanations. Several of the mini games use the same controls, but there’s enough variety that the similar controls don’t feel repetitive. There are three ways to play a mini game: Easy, Normal, and Hard. We stuck with Easy while trying to get a feel of the game, but even some mini games on Easy were challenging. When kicking the games up a notch to Normal or Hard, the games did become more and more challenging, but not to the point of frustration. Each mini game is anywhere between 90 seconds to 150 seconds, depending on the complexity of the mini-game, and that was just the right amount of time.
Tournament Play pits you and your friends against one another in Free For All or Two on Two game play. Four mini-games are selected at random, and may the best penguin win. Quick Play allows you to select one mini-game at a time to play through, whether as practice for the Tournament Play or just for fun.
While we loved all the mini games, these were some of our favorites:
Sumo Smash: Penguins + Inner tubes = Awesome. Four penguins wearing inner tubes try to knock one another off an ice island. At the end of 90 seconds, whoever has the most points wins.
Puffle Paddle: Bounce a little puffle off the ping-pong paddle, but don’t let it fall!
Dance Party: Get your grove thing on as you mimic the moves on the screen, waving the Wiimote up and down, left and right, and in giant circles. (Warning: If you’re going to play this mini-game while sitting on the couch, make sure you don’t hit the person sitting next to you. Sorry, Travis.)
Sled N Slide: The penguins try their hands (flippers?) at being a bobsled team, and work together as a unit to run the course and beat the other teams’ times.
What’s Not: The only bad thing about Club Penguin: Game Day! is we wish there were more mini games to play. After battling our way through Story Mode and Tournament play, we were left wanting more.
Final Verdict: Club Penguin: Game Day! is a must-have for young children, especially those already involved in the world of Club Penguin. It’s colorful, fun, and has just the right amount of game play balance between challenging and simplistic. If you have a little one between the ages of 6 and 12, this is a title they’ll enjoy.Review - Club Penguin: Game Day!,