iPhone App Video Review: Penny Time

May 22, 2012

Penny Time is a brand new rhythm based auto-run platformer. It’s a licensed marketing game from Penny Skateboards, existing only to promote a product. And it is simply awesome! Who knew such a thing was even possible? They let the developers put all the creativity and effort into the game that was needed, and what we have is a stylish title packed with random humor and clever mechanics, not to mention an outstanding soundtrack, which is the most important thing about any rhythm based game.

So essentially, a cosmic and magical Penny skateboard falls from the cosmos one day like a meteor. The wielder of this skateboard shall possess the power to stop time and release mystical spirit animal guides, including a dodo bird, allowing him or her to escape any boring situation. Every time our protagonist is in such a situation, they hold up the skateboard He-Man style and escape. This time freezing aspect sets the stage for some of the most amusing and creative level design I’ve ever seen, as you jump over and slide under people, vehicles, and animals that are frozen in place.

The controls are quite simple. You swipe upwards on white spaces, to the right on blue spaces, and downwards on orange spaces. Depending on the accuracy of your timing, each space will be worth more points. Each level is split up into three areas, which are then split up into three sections. The first section has you racking up points, the second has you building up your multiplier, and the third lets you cash in all of your points. In order to rack up leaderboard level high scores, you’ll have to not cash in your points, and try to build them up over all three areas. This creates a crazy sense of risk versus reward, which I like. Sadly, your swipes don’t always register properly, which kind of ruins that. I definitely failed more often from an incorrect swipe than a control error, but the error is definitely noticeable.

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This game just oozes style, from the abstract, almost pastel style visuals to the fantastic electronic soundtrack, courtesy of an artist named Hunz. The developers genuinely wanted to make a fun game regardless of the reason behind its existence, and fun is definitely an apt descriptor. It’s not a perfect game, but it’s a very refreshing game that should be experienced by everybody. Penny Time is iOS Universal and available for only one dollar at the time of this review. If anything, you should at least check out the free lite version of the game. I definitely recommend it.

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