Defendin De Penguin Review
October 20, 2008 by Jereme Puik
Crave Entertainment brings the real-time strategy genre to the Nintendo Wii for the first time. Defendin’ De Penguin offers children a chance to get a taste of the genre and is about as watered down as you’re going to get and at its core it is just a basic introduction to the genre. Although its simplicity should not undermine it, it’s a bold effort that hasn’t quite been tackled yet by other developers, so it’s something to applaud this developer for taking the chance. Defendin’ De Penguin offers up the Antarctic penguins a chance to shine.
Defend Those Penguins
The story starts us off as Little Blue, a young penguin that is hell bent on stopping the animals of the Artic from stealing his villager’s food. One day after striking a crab with a snowball and forcing the crab to drop his fish, Profi Penguin, the villages’ inventor and schemer comes up with a way to protect their village from the hungry animals. To help with the mission, Profi invites Little Blue to help test his latest inventions, everything from snowball towers to ice towers, each having their own advantages to protecting the village. Of course, after agreeing to this you are granted with tasks from the Profi Penguin as you learn the ways of this motion controlled real time strategy ice adventure.
The gameplay mechanics involved with Defendin’ De Penguin are about as basic as you’re going to get in this genre. Your movement and control of the field is all mapped to your Wiimote and nun-chuck. You’re nun-chuck will control the camera as it circles the area of a compass to cover the entire map you’re playing on. For a real-time strategy on the Wii, I was expecting a bit more excitement. As you move through the different tasks, you’ll be given more advanced equipment to work with. There is no leveling up or gaining money to buy items or upgrade your village. You are just thrown new towers to place around the map to keep the crabs, boars and others away.
The biggest thing you’ll notice about the game is that it doesn’t change its map environment. You’ll mostly be stuck with the same environment over and over again before you find yourself bored and shutting the Wii off. The animals follow their own strict path and walk leisurely through the course while not caring if a tower is shooting snowballs or ice cubes at them. Animals don’t seem to react to what’s being thrown at them and don’t even attack the towers attacking.
You are given one penguin to control until the task is finished, which is until you build enough of the current tower to continue on to the more advanced tower after that. This one penguin is what you’ll use mostly to fish in the pond that’s near the village. The fish will eventually help you in purchasing a new tower whether it is an ice or snowball. The options increase as you continue forward through the game and towards the end you will have a good selection to choose from to defend your village.
This real-time strategy doesn’t offer much depth. It also lacks a true sense of what a real time strategy game is all about. It is obvious that this was targeted just for kids, but this is too simplistic to really get anywhere in this genre. Crave Entertainment did an interesting job providing the basics and it’s hard to look at this game with a straight face. There is a lack of competition and it’s just too easy to get through the many tasks. Animals don’t pose much of a threat and are better off just standing in the road doing nothing.
I think it’s safe to say and everyone knows this, the Wii doesn’t offer much of a graphical threat as opposed to its competitors and it really shows here with Defendin’ De Penguin. The artwork itself is geared towards children which makes it understandable in their eyes and not too much of an eye sore. The cartoon penguins are entertaining to watch although they aren’t animated in any way and just pop up on the screen with the given text for the next assignment.
I wouldn’t go so far as to call it trendy, but the music that is included with Defendin’ De Penguin is charming. However, you will more than likely ignore the music as you concentrate on the overall gameplay itself.
There isn’t much to go on here in terms of what makes Defendin’ De Penguin worth that value. The kids will surely get a kick out of it. I suppose the one highlight might be the story that has players learning the unique ways of tower defense. This is, of course, one of the most important aspects of real time strategies and a good place to start in terms of eventually getting into the more advanced real time strategy games.
Defendin’ De Penguin is an interesting addition to the real time strategy genre even if it’s very basic. For the kids, parents will have a fun time working to defend Little Blue’s village from the hungry animals looking to take away his food. The one little penguin that you’ll be moving on the map helps moves things along faster and can be used as a guide to teach children the various aspects of Antarctic. Defendin’ De Penguin is your basic Wii title that you see thrown out on the store shelves these days that comes with a $49.99 price tag. If you can find it on discount, then this title would be worth the price. However, there is one thing to be warned about, don’t expect much depth in controls or story, it’s what Defendin’ De Penguin lacks in this respect and might do well with a sequel.