Crazy Penguin Assault

When people say "the grass is always greener on the other side", they're issuing you a warning.

If you set your sights on tracking down that lush, green meadow, you'll ultimately lose everything good you currently hold in pursuit of a utopia that, more than likely, doesn't exist.

A sombre opening for the review of a game with a name like Crazy Penguin Assault, you might think, but no less valid for it.

Someone, somewhere within Digital Chocolate has clearly been looking at Angry Birds with envious eyes, and in its efforts to emulate it, it's sacrificed a franchise that arguably already had more to offer.

Capitulating catapult

Indeed, as the game's name suggests, Crazy Penguin Assault is directly sourced from Digital Chocolate's acclaimed Crazy Penguin Catapult series, though it brings to the table a number of changes.

Yet again, penguins are the weapon, but rather than firing them down from the skies like missiles, each one is catapulted from ground level towards a pack of polar bears hiding in amongst a collection of ice-laden structures.

It's a new approach that makes very little effort to hide its inspiration – Crazy Penguin Assault is incontrovertibly a post-Angry Birds release – yet it would be unfair to suggest it mirrors Rovio's high flyer in every regard.

Carried across from the original series is the way the penguins themselves react to their environment. Instead of dropping out upon first impact, each bird bounces around for a bit, taking down multiple targets in one shot.

The problem is that targeting each bear using the phone's narrow screen (the game is naturally played in portrait mode) is far from easy, and precludes your building any momentum.

Stick to what you know

While Digital Chocolate has taken steps to replicate many of Angry Birds's best features (birds with different abilities, and the option to initiate special attacks by hitting the '5' key mid-flight), Crazy Penguin Assault plays out like a series of compromises, lifting elements from Crazy Penguin Catapult and dropping them into a format where they just don't fit.

It's the awkward love child of two games that, though similar in structure, actually differ wildly when it comes to delivery.

This makes it especially hard to brand Crazy Penguin Assault as anything other than a somewhat ill-advised offshoot of the main franchise.

Though not a disaster, the game that results never threatens to challenge Angry Birds at the top table, and Digital Chocolate would be far better off working on the next Crazy Penguin Catapult than trying to seek out pastures new.

Crazy Penguin Assault

Yet another take on the Angry Birds model, Digital Chocolate's attempt to drop its Crazy Penguins into the action gets lost in translation
Keith Andrew
Keith Andrew
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. He's also Pocket Gamer's resident football gaming expert and, thanks to his work on, monitors the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.