Adventure Beaks is a mobile platforming game with a very straightforward approach: you have five penguins to finish each stage with, make it to the goal. The stages vary in difficulty and style, though it generally gets harder and harder as you progress through the game. Long time platform gaming enthusiasts will find the challenges here a little on the mellow side, though there are some points that can be quite frustrating to deal with. Overall though, the game is designed for casual players, so do not expect the game to throw some Ninja Gaiden-esque challenges at you.
The game is played by stages and each stage is divided into segments marked by checkpoints. When a penguin passes through a checkpoint, they are able to save their current progress through the stage as well as keep all the items (such as coins and artifacts/treasures) earned. This respawn feature at the checkpoints is very important, though we will get into that later on.
Players will have 5 penguins to use each stage. If a penguin is eliminated, the next four penguins will start at the most recent checkpoint. Ideally, a penguin should stay in play until they reach a new checkpoint in order to ensure progress. If all five penguins lose in the stage, the player will have to restart the progress for that stage. It is a little punishing for players not used to platforming (especially since there are a few extremely difficult parts), but for the most part, even those not used to the genre should not find it hard to adjust to the feel of the game.
Playing the game is easy, you just need to make the penguin jump up or slide depending on the situation. The game even offers two different control schemes to fit player preferences. The default setting is swiping. Which intuitively indicates an upward motion for telling the penguin to jump and a downward motion for sliding -this is the control method that feels very natural and logical, as the directional movement of the hand complements the action that the penguin will do. The downside is that swiping is not as fast as tapping so players need to have good reflexes.
The tapping control system divides the screen into two parts, the left and right side. Tapping on one side will trigger jumps and tapping on the other will start belly dives. It does not take long to get used to it since there are only two inputs. Also, while this mode is not as intuitive as swiping, tapping is a much faster action that is also more accurate. This mode is best suited for players who prefer to have an immediate response to their input.
Regardless of your control choice, it does not affect the gameplay at all. Choosing one is simply a matter of understanding which setup suits you better.
While the game is relatively easy to play, it is not without its challenges. As such, players should expect to see some of their penguins meeting untimely ends at bottomless pits, spikes, or more. The good news is that all your hard work is not lost even if a penguin dies. Instead, you get to keep everything earned prior to reaching your first checkpoint and you will continue the stage from that point.
This is a pretty critical feature as a lot of the game's stages have different challenges and players will often be caught by surprise at some of the hazards. Being able to continue your progress from a midway point is so much better than dealing with the entire length of the stage from beginning to end.
Aside from stage progress, the items collected are also important. Aside from coins that can be used to get clothing, there are also special treasures that need to be collected. Getting these items is not easy and you should not expect to complete it in the first run. In fact, keep an eye out for alternate paths since it can often lead to treasure. Sadly, there are plenty of times when you will not be able to backtrack through an area because of checkpoints -in this case, players will have to restart the whole stage instead.
There are many cute penguin themed games knocking around on mobiles these days but all including Adventure Beaks fail to deliver anything of a happy medium between casual game play and fun filled adventure. Their offering is extremely light and superficial failing to encapsulate what the film to game conversion of Happy Feet 2 managed to do.
'Machinarium pushes the boundaries when it comes to what we know about traditional point and click titles. First, it has no dialogue save for a few text tidbits at the start. Its puzzles are confined to a single screen, and it's not afraid to lend a hand when needed. It's different, and it's infinitely more interesting because of it. To sum it up, Machinarium is one of those rare games that brilliantly executes radical ideas.'