The first thing that caught my eye about Penny Time are the visuals. When I first time I looked at the screenshots I thought “huh, I want to play this”.
“Penny Time is a side-scrolling action game where you’ll ride the original plastic skateboard in search of points, multipliers, tricks and secrets! Set in a post-retro game world not too far removed from suburbia, the player soon discovers that their Penny board has the ability to freeze time.”
And sure enough, that feeling continued as I was playing the game. It consists of these simple 3D blocks that look almost origami like on your screen, which although may seem simple, as the levels come to life it looks pretty awesome. To go along with the visuals the game has an awesome soundtrack Hunz (which can be purchased at his Bandcamp). All the jumps are tied in with the soundtrack, making it feel like a platformer (think bit.trip Runner).
Controls are pretty straight forward, it’s all about memorization and swipes. Swipe up to ollie, down to slide, and forward to hippy (hop up and let the board roll under an obstacle). Simple enough right? Don’t worry, there are targets that will tell you what to do (white = up, blue = left, yellow = down). For the most part, the controls work like a charm, although sometimes they can be a tad unresponsive.
Each level has three sections. Throughout the level are checkpoint dodos with five skateboards, these act as your lifes. Run out and it’s game over. Furthermore, at the end of each act is a pig. The game suggests you cash in your current score, but you can go and risk what you’ve earned for more. Keep in mind though if you mess up, your whole score is gone.
It sounds simple now, but when you’re playing the game you can see how this works. In the first section you’ll be avoiding obstacles by timing jumps and slides (points are given based on accuracy). Then in the second section, the player is moving faster and there are more obstacles to avoid. The good news though is that you’ll be building up multipier. And the same goes for the third section, where you can cash in or keep the multiplier longer for higher scores. This creates high risk for the player, but if you do it right you’ll receive a sweet reward.
Here’s the thing you have to remember, this is not a Tony Hawk game, this is not a full 3D skateboarding game. It’s a fun, polished almost platformer like game, with a low admission price. It may seem weird, and that’s OK, you can simply try out the lite version before committing. But personally, I would say just to buy it. 7/10.