Bryan Mitchell is the the developer of the popular Geared [$2.99 / HD] and Geared 2 [$2.99] games, which have reportedly been played by over 12 million people. He's partnered-up with an old school buddy Joshua Greenspan, who released Puzzling Penguins [Free] in 2009. Together, they've released a sequel, named quite appropriately: Puzzling Penguins 2 [99¢].

If you're familiar with the original game, this latest release features more of the "move-the-penguin-to-the-water" type puzzle-solving, but the graphics and music have improved, with the most obvious changes being a new isometric view of the playing area and the inclusion of snow-coated scenery in the background.

The goal of Puzzling Penguins 2 is to swipe your penguin around a frozen 8x8 pond, collecting three golden stars before reaching a chilly water-hole. The catch is that once you swipe a penguin, it keeps moving in that direction until either hitting an obstacle, or reaching the edge of the frozen pond. The challenge is to work out how to use the various obstacles to reach the water hole. Your overall Game Center score for each level is based on the number of stars collected, time taken and number of moves required to solve the level.

There's currently 3 worlds to play (63 levels in total), which are unlocked by collecting enough stars. The levels in the first world are all pretty obvious, so they're easy to 3-star in your first attempt without requiring much brain activity. But just when you start thinking you're super intelligent, the puzzles in the second world suddenly become more challenging, forcing you to actually stop, think and strategize.

New game elements are introduced regularly like blocks that can be repositioned by swiping, 'bomb stars' which trigger explosions and 'fire stars' for melting the water hole when it freezes over. Most interestingly some levels feature more than one penguin from the colony for you to swipe. This makes things trickier as your penguins must work together, using each other as barriers so they stop moving at the right spots to clear the level.

Puzzling Penguins 2 is a pleasant game to play and a definite improvement on the original, especially in terms of presentation. On the down-side, it's not universal and there's no native iPad version, so it will only run in 2x mode. Also, although the three "worlds" each add new gameplay elements, they all use exactly the same snowy setting and music, so they don't really feel like different "worlds" so much as just more levels. It would also be interesting if they threw a hungry polar bear into the mix.

However, the most important thing in any puzzle game are the puzzles themselves, and in that regard the game is well-designed with difficulty levels which increase as you progress.  Of course, if you're not certain about this game, you can grab the original Puzzling Penguins for Free and if you enjoy that, you'll definitely enjoy this updated and prettier sequel as well.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • http://twitter.com/anon_a_miss any-mouse

    Looks alright and I'm hungry for a new puzzler.. Theirs been no good puzzlers released for quite a few weeks now..but it's just been done too many times before, yes, it's 3dish this time..but it's still the same gameplay as iced in and the million other games simiar, so I have to say no to this one.

    Maybe if the dev incorporated something new into the game I'd find it more appealing, but I've seen this too many times before

    Even something simple like collecting a cherry which turns you red so you can then slide across red tiles, otherwise youll stop before the red tile and land there.making it so you purposely don't collect the cherry straight away because you might need to collect a key that is only accessible if you can stop before the red tile, then you go back to the cherry so you can slide over red tiles, etc
    That alone would mix up the gameplay. This is too repetitive

  • http://buzzabit.com/aaron/ Aaron Sullivan

    I've got to get my Snowball game out there some day before I see something exactly the same in the store one day. I guess it's unavoidable there will be some overlap, but the wintery theme and the isometric view of this one scared me a bit. :) I do have ice puzzles like this as one aspect of the game as it is, but there's much more and it's not the primary play mechanic fortunately.

Puzzling Penguins 2 Reviewed by Troy Woodfield on . Rating: 3.5