Punky Skunk, known in Japan as Cooly Skunk (クーリースカンク Kūrī Sukanku?), is a 1996 platform video game originally developed by Ukiyotei and published in Japan by Visit for the original Sony PlayStation platform on November 1, 1996. Two years later, Jaleco USA localized it to North America.
The player takes the role of an anthropomorphic skunk, Punky (known in Japan as Cooly (クーリー?)), who needs to save the world from the evil Wolf Pack. The two-dimensional levels are side-scrolling, which is uncommon for PlayStation games. The game plays much like Mario and other side-scrolling action games; however, the game features a set of special tools at Punky's disposal, including a skunk spray, parasail, a pogo stick, inline skates, digging claws, and a snowboard. Although released, the game was not finished to completion. It remains a collectors curiosity due to the generally unfinished nature of the game and the unfavorable reviews given at the time of release.
The March 2006 issue of the gaming magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly has included Punky Skunk in their EGM Retro article "Mascot Hell", along with Bubsy, The Noid, Kya, and Boogerman. The article centered around bad mascots in video-gaming history, and explained why they were so bad. For Punky Skunk, they complained that the game's marketing team continually claimed that Punky Skunk had attitude, saying that he was:
"...a Generation X skunk with an attitude!" However, this was far from the truth; Punky's "attitude" had more to do with snuggling kittens and wearing flowers in his hair. Which means that he was such an abysmal mascot, that his own marketing team had to lie about him. And that's just sad. (But not as sad as the "sexy" pictures of Punky's female animal friends that appear throughout the game.)"
- October 23, 1997. "The World's First Stinky Mascot". IGN. Retrieved July 4, 2013.
- Geddes, Ryan (February 8, 2010). "Great Games With Silly Names". IGN. Retrieved July 4, 2013.
- "The Top 10 Worst Character Names," Game Informer 188 (December 2008): 22.
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