If, like us, you wasted countless hours on the furiously addictive 2D Flash game that provided the inspiration for this 19.99 Xbox title, it may come as a bit of a shock that this is truly, truly abominable.
On the plus side, at least this Xbox version won't get you fired for wasting your company's time (in this PC-crazy world isn't that classed as 'stealing' nowadays?). On the downside, the regular Flash version was much more fun. Seriously. Surprisingly long load times (for what exactly? The visuals are more reminiscent of a PlayStation 1 title) punctuate not only each different game, but the length of time between each go is also annoyingly large. At least the PC version allowed instant flipper-twatting fun.
Single player mode involves familiar sub games such as Penguin Baseball, Penguin Golf, Penguin Darts (you can sense a theme developing here), Halfpipe Race and Seagull Drop. The controls for these feel clumsy, and the switch from 2D to 3D feels shoddy and contrived. One difference is that your projectile can now be controlled, both in the air and while skidding along the ground. Bonus icons that can be collected for increased points/speed/time that add a little more playability to the otherwise woeful proceedings, but not enough to really save it from the plunging into the icy depths of monotony.
Up to eight players can battle it out through Tournament mode, but you have to take it in turns to play one at a time, on the same screen. And after you've sat through the third round of Penguin Darts for the sixth time, the novelty and 'party' atmosphere of this really starts to wear off. Very quickly. Xbox Live scoreboards are on offer, but who wants to compare points totals when playing against each other would have been a lot more fun? This is sure to instantly melt away in this hot summer of blockbusters.
Bland, tedious, poor visuals, totally uninvolving, and nowhere near as fun or addictive as the Flash version.