Penguin Adventure is the sequel to 1983’s Antarctic Adventure and was first published for the MSX in 1986 by Konami. The story again follows Penta, the Konami mascot penguin, who this time must bring home a golden apple in order to cure Penguette, the penguin princess.
Penguin Adventure expands upon the simplistic gameplay of the first game by adding a greater variety of stages, plus boss battles and RPG elements. There are also purchasable items and a number of minigames incorporated too.
One interesting thing about this game is that it also marked the debut of famous video game designer Hideo Koijima, who was an assistant designer on the project.
Penguin Adventure also features multiple endings, and the hidden ‘good’ ending is only available when the player pauses the game a certain numbers of times, which seems ridiculously unfair! Also not particularly fair are the hidden shortcuts that are usually found underneath holes that are typically insta-kill hazards, and these will take the player on an entirely different path through the game – if you know which holes they’re hidden behind.
Overall, Penguin Adventure is an MSX classic that is much more fun to play than its predecessor. Konami obviously made a real effort to make this sequel something special and it succeeds in mixing cute, cartoon graphics with seriously challenging gameplay. It’s definitely one to play if you want to seek out the best MSX games.