Whilst many people in 1986 were playing Mario and Metroid on the NES, my gaming world had a little more Penguin in it thanks to my ownership of my MSX computer. This strange beast, a prelude to Microsoft’s future forays into gaming, was very well supported by a little games company called Konami.
Konami made two of my favourite ever games. Gradius and Penguin Adventure. You’ll see from the video below that Penguin Adventure had everything – great gameplay, varied levels, gorgeous graphics and incredible music. In short, it was amazing!
Whilst much has been said about Gradius, Penguin Adventure has been left buried. There were no sequels and the brand has little penetration into pop culture. I live in hope that one day Konami sees its error and gives the game the sequel or remake/reboot that it deserves. The game itself is a sequel to Antarctic Adventure, though that game has little merit beyond its heritage.
Many websites reviewing the game will tell you that the main draw is that Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima had his first gaming gig thanks to the game. For me, at only 8 years old, the reason for playing was the sheer fun to be had in doing so.
A few years later, a penguin character called Pentarou would appear in Gradius parody Parodius Da! Pentarou is the son of Penguin from Penguin Adventure. Yes, the lead character in Penguin Adventure was called Penguin. Very original.
Penguin Adventure Box art image from Game Database.
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