×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force

Disney's first major extension of Club Penguin since buying the hugely successful kids virtual world for up to $700 million last year turns out to be a satisfying, kid-friendly point-and-click mystery for Nintendo's handheld DS.

Disney’s first major extension of Club Penguin since buying the hugely successful kids virtual world for up to $700 million last year turns out to be a satisfying, kid-friendly point-and-click mystery for Nintendo’s handheld DS. Though it’s short on content and marred by a few notable glitches, the loyal replication of the virtual world’s look and feel along with innovative online features that tie the two together should draw a healthy flock from the millions of “Club Penguin” players.

The online “Club Penguin” is a browser-based world that has conquered younger gamers as ferociously as “World of Warcraft” has addicted their older siblings and parents. “Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force” takes the same setting in which kids are used to simple minigames and basic socialization and, using the DS’ touchscreen, introduces a point-and-click mystery.

The Elite Penguin Force is a secret team that mixes civic-mindedness with a dash of intrigue. When agents aren’t searching for the owner of a lost scarf or helping to deliver pizza, they’re unraveling a deeper mystery that leads to a secret (but not too scary) villain. As they rise through the ranks, players assemble a spy kit full of useful gadgets and a stable of specially trained puffles, the limbless furballs that are popular pets in the online game. Players use these tools to solve puzzles and ultimately, save the island.

“Club Penguin’s” simple cartoony style loses little in the move to the smallscreen. The island’s layout remains essentially the same, but players now explore it from a first-person perspective — which makes it easier to comb each space for hidden coins and clues.

The missions challenge players with object-manipulation puzzles, simple decoding tasks and plain old hunting and rummaging for clues. Any kid who reads well, follows directions and doesn’t mind scouring the island once in a while for new leads should have no trouble. Unfortunately, the gameplay will occasionally frustrate their best efforts: A lack of negative feedback can make it difficult to figure out why penguins don’t always move where the player points, for instance, and some design mistakes in the final action sequence makes it difficult to trigger the right action and complete the game.

It’s rare for a virtual world to connect to a handheld device, which makes “Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force” stand out — even though the online features are fairly thin. Players can’t bring their penguin avatars to the DS, but they can apply the coins they earn in this game to their online accounts. Other features include a brief newsletter that’s meant to lure players back online after their few hours of handheld fun run out.

Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force

Rated E. $30

Production: A Disney Interactive Studios presentation of a game developed by 1st Playable Prods. for the Nintendo DS.

More Digital

  • Smithsonian subscription VOD

    Smithsonian Networks Launches New Subscription VOD Service, Folding in Smithsonian Earth

    Smithsonian Networks has expanded its push to reach cord-cutters with the launch of Smithsonian Channel Plus, promising subscribers 1,000-plus hours of streaming nonfiction programming for $5 per month. The new subscription VOD service incorporates and supersedes Smithsonian Earth, the company’s $3.99-monthly SVOD service that launched three years ago, which had been geared around nature and wildlife. [...]

  • YouTube Rewind 2018

    YouTube Rewind 2018 Officially Becomes Most-Disliked Video Ever

    The haters have spoken: In less than a week, YouTube Rewind 2018 — its year-in-review mashup — has registered the most dislikes of any video on the platform. As of Thursday (Dec. 13) morning, YouTube Rewind 2018 had notched 9.9 million dislikes after debuting Dec. 6. That pushed it above the previous record holder: Justin [...]

  • NPR Releases Open Source Podcast Metrics

    How NPR Aims to Bring Transparency to Podcast Metrics

    NPR unveiled a new open source podcast measurement project Wednesday that aims to bring more transparency and granularity to podcast metrics. The project, dubbed Remote Audio Data (RAD), has been developed in partnership with a number of podcast app developers, ad tech companies as well as tech and media heavyweights including ESPN, Google and iHeartMedia. [...]

  • 2019 Variety Predictions

    2019 Predictions: What's in Store for Film, TV and Music Next Year?

    It would be hard to top the drama of 2018. From media mega-mergers to the rise of Time’s Up, it was a year that had more than its fair share of twists and turns. Leslie Moonves resigned in disgrace, AT&T snapped up Time Warner, Disney inched closer to subsuming Fox and “Black Panther” shattered box [...]

  • apple brooklyn october 2018 event

    Apple Looking to Launch Magazine Subscriptions in Early 2019 (Report)

    Apple is preparing to relaunch Texture, a news subscription app it acquired in March, as a premium tier of Apple News early next year, according to a Bloomberg report. To prepare for the launch, Apple has been trying to get prominent newspapers including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal to come on [...]

  • Tencent Music Raises $1.1 Billion for

    Tencent Music Raises $1.1 Billion for IPO, Much Less Than Expected

    China-based music streaming company Tencent Music Entertainment Group said it raised nearly $1.1 billion in its U.S. initial public offering, according to Reuters. Earlier this year, the company was expected to be valued at as much as $30 billion and raise $4 billion for its IPO, but those estimates were slashed in September. The IPO [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content