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Computer Penny's Big Breakaway Review

A Nostalgic Homage to 3D Platformers
 
 

General Information

Penny's Big Breakaway is a charming and nostalgic love letter to the early days of 3D platformers. Released on February 21, 2024, for PC, this game captures the essence of the era with its colorful visuals, exaggerated character designs, and unique gameplay mechanics. In this review, we will explore the various aspects of Penny's Big Breakaway, from its story and gameplay to its visual style and overall appeal.



Story and Gameplay

The game revolves around Penny, an aspiring yo-yo performer who finds herself in a talent show audition hosted by a strict Emperor. Along the way, her toy prop fuses with a creature, granting her special abilities. However, this also leads to trouble at the talent show, causing Penny to become a fugitive from the Emperor's army of penguin goons.

The gameplay in Penny's Big Breakaway is fast-paced and exhilarating. Each stage is designed as a course that players must navigate with speed and precision, performing stunts and tricks along the way. The stages are not open worlds but rather linear paths, pushing players to run from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible.

One of the game's unique elements is the presence of the penguin army. Instead of traditional enemies that damage the player, these penguins try to capture Penny, slowing her down and potentially leading to capture if too many swarm her at once. This clever mechanic adds a sense of urgency and momentum to the gameplay, encouraging players to pick up the pace and stay on their toes.

The yo-yo is the central gameplay gimmick in Penny's Big Breakaway. It serves as a versatile tool for both combat and traversal. Players can use the yo-yo to fling at enemies, cling onto ziplines, spin on giant screw-machines, and perform acrobatic mid-air moves. It can also gain special abilities by consuming specific foods found throughout the stages, such as knocking down walls or providing speed boosts.

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Visual Style and Design

Penny's Big Breakaway fully embraces the visual style of early 3D platformers. The game accurately replicates the vibrant and slightly exaggerated character designs, reminiscent of classics like Banjo-Kazooie and Klonoa. While this style may not appeal to everyone, it successfully captures the essence of the era it aims to pay homage to.

The levels in Penny's Big Breakaway are beautifully designed, featuring a mix of colorful environments and creative obstacles. The automated camera system tracks the player's movements effectively, ensuring that they have a clear view of the action. However, there are rare instances where having manual camera control would have been beneficial, especially when obstacles or pits are not easily visible.

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Challenge and Progression

Penny's Big Breakaway offers a progressively challenging experience as players advance through the game. The stages become more complex, requiring precise timing and mastery of the yo-yo mechanics. While the difficulty curve is well-balanced overall, some players may find certain levels to be a bit sparse with checkpoints. Dying doesn't result in significant penalties, as the checkpoint system retains progress, but it can interrupt the flow of gameplay.

The game's collectibles add an extra layer of challenge and replayability. Throughout the stages, players can find hidden items and secrets, rewarding exploration and thoroughness. These collectibles not only contribute to the overall completion percentage but also unlock additional content and abilities, providing further incentive to revisit previously completed levels.

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Verdict

Penny's Big Breakaway successfully captures the nostalgia and charm of early 3D platformers. While its visual style may not appeal to everyone, it serves as a loving homage to a bygone era in gaming history. The yo-yo mechanics and the penguin enemy mechanic introduce fresh and inventive ideas to the genre, enhancing the overall gameplay experience. Despite some minor issues with checkpoint placement and camera control, the game offers a fun and challenging adventure for fans of the genre.

Whether you're a seasoned platformer enthusiast or simply yearning for a taste of gaming's past, Penny's Big Breakaway is a delightful experience worth checking out. So grab your yo-yo, embrace the nostalgia, and embark on a thrilling journey with Penny as she breaks away from the norm and shines in her big moment.

Additional Information:

  • Release Date: February 21, 2024
  • Platform: PC
  • Developer: Christian Whitehead, Evening Star
  • Publisher: Private Division

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