Friday, May 16, 2014

Penguin Land for GameBoy: black (or in this case blue) and white and cute all over

Now that I've worked Madou Monogatari out of my system (I think), it's time to get back to the "Year of the GameBoy," don't you think? I sure do.

Could I have chosen a more exciting GameBoy title to help us get back into the swing of things? I guess so, but I went with this one anyway because it's a Japan-only game that rarely seems to be discussed outside of its country of origin (and probably isn't discussed there all that often either) and because it features a pretty sweet cover illustration.

This game is a portable conversion of Sega's Doki Doki Penguin Land, by the way--and if you've never heard of that one, well, the gist is that players are placed in the shoes (feet?) of the titular penguin and then tasked with guiding a rather large egg from the top of each vertically scrolling stage to the bottom by destroying or moving any ice blocks that are in the way. 

It's a pretty simple puzzler-platformer, really, but for me that's its main draw. Well, that and its adorable protagonist.

That said, I might've preferred if publisher Pony Canyon had held off on releasing this one until the GameBoy Color hit the streets, as I definitely think it could have benefited from a bit of visual pizazz.

Still, it's a fun little time-waster, and as we saw earlier, its packaging (as well as its instruction manual, a sample of which can be seen in the photo above) is easy on the eyes, so the lack of color isn't as off-putting as it might be otherwise.

Sadly, the back of the Penguin Land box is pretty par for the course when it comes to Japanese GameBoy games. I guess publishers at that time believed most folks would buy their wares based solely on the product's cover art?

One additional photo (of a cute illustration that graces the backside of this game's manual) can be found on my Flickr photostream, by the way, in case any of you are interested.

See also: previous 'Year of the GameBoy' posts


michaelstearns said...

There's that "GG-style" cart shot! :)

I like to see a bit of text on the back like this, really, I figure the cover is to grab your attention and the back is supposed to tell you what it actually is. There's a lot of Japanese games that hardly tell you anything on the back though, it's often just art and screen shots! Which, really, I don't mind because it looks nicer, but it's kind of surprising. said...

Ha ha! Yep, I've been taking more of those since you brought it up a while back, Michael -- so feel special! :)

As for what you had to say about the text on the back of this game's box (and others like it), I kind of would like to see a happy medium. Some text, some art, maybe some screenshots.

Really, though, as long as the cover art is spot-on, I don't much care if the back of the box is text-only or even completely blank :)

apricotsushi said...

Wow, what a cute cover! I love the use of white. I had a look at the back of the manual over on your Flickr account, too. So adorable! I might try picking up some more GameBoy/GBC games when I'm in Japan this time said...

Glad to hear you like it, too, Anne! And, yes, you definitely should pick up some GB, GBC and of course GBA titles while you're in Japan this summer :)