Gonna keep this one short: it’s very, very, very weird and… it’s hard to tell yourself to keep playing. But if you do, you might find a few things to like. Super Psy Penguin is a bullet hell with a very strange retro style graphics that I did not personally care for myself.
The music is pretty rad from the small selection they provide. It’s all techno, rock, and classical music. The story is nonsensical, parodical, and paper-thin. There are a few laughs to be had at the sheer absurdity, but ehh. Before you hop into each mission in story mode there is a chance to pick a bomb type and power-ups using currency collected between missions. There are two difficulties for story mode, a boss rush mode, and a survival mode with very little difference between all of them. It is all very self-explanatory. Controls are surprisingly tight for what the most cynical of us would call a shitpost of a game.
You have a bomb button and a bullet-clearing which turns everything into fruits for some bizarre reason. Each elemental bomb has a slightly different flavor of screen clear, but rarely made a difference. You can collect power-up capsules to slowly bolster your default firing to long ranged waves of shots. It plays fine for what it is, but the presentation is rather lacking, the screen is very busy and distracting, and the little voice acting existent in the game is not to be taken seriously to any degree. Difficulty is decent, mostly because losing all your life bumps you to the start of the level, at the very least it doesn’t make you restart from the beginning. Speaking of, if you press the esc key, it will bump you right back to the main menu, so my condolences for your muscle memory thinking you’re accessing the pause menu.
There’s not much more to talk about here. In boss rush particularly, the particle effects can start to stack up and cause significant frame drops depending on how well your rig can process it all. The boss rush I actually had a decent amount of fun with, if only because you can quickly access a godlike amount of power-ups and resources relative to other game modes. I always try to give games that don’t immediately strike me as conventionally good the benefit of the doubt, but asides an accessible price point, I don’t think this does anything that higher budgets shmups haven’t. Hard to say who this is for, but if the 80’s aesthetic quirkiness and quick pick up and play aspect grabs you, then by all means.
A review copy was provided by the developers
Hellfirebam has not awarded Super Psy Penguin the Indie Seal of Approval.