Pengo (video game)

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Pengo arcade flyer.jpg
Pengo arcade flyer
Designer(s)Nobuo Kodera, Tsutomu Iwane, Akira Nakakuma, Shinji Egi
Platform(s)Arcade (original)
Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit, Game Gear
ReleaseSeptember 1982
Mode(s)One or two players, alternating play
Arcade systemCPU: Z80
DisplayRaster graphics, standard resolution 224 x 288 (Vertical)

Pengo (ペンゴ) is an arcade game developed by Coreland and published by Sega in 1982. The player controls Pengo, a red penguin that resides in the Antarctic. The game takes place in an overhead maze made of ice blocks, where Pengo crushes blob-like Sno-Bees by sliding blocks into them. The objective is to survive each round by eliminating all Sno-Bees and Sno-Bee eggs, while optionally lining up the three diamond blocks for a large bonus.

There are two versions of the arcade game, each with different music. The first uses "Popcorn" as the theme and the second has original music. There are other small differences as well.[1]

Pengo was ported to the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit family, and Sega Game Gear


Arcade version screenshot.

The player uses a four-position joystick and a single button to control Pengo, a penguin character. Pressing the button while pushing the joystick against an ice block will cause it to slide in that direction until it hits another block or a wall if space directly ahead of it is unoccupied by a block or wall. If that space is occupied, pressing the button will crush the block instead.

The goal is to destroy every Sno-Bee on the board by one of three methods:

  • Sliding ice blocks to crush them
  • Crushing blocks that contain unhatched Sno-Bee eggs
  • Running over them after stunning them at a wall

At the start of each round, a certain number of eggs hatch into Sno-Bees, while other blocks flash to indicate that they contain eggs. As the player destroys active Sno-Bees, new ones hatch from the eggs to replace them. Crushing multiple Sno-Bees with one block awards extra points. The Sno-Bees can crush blocks in an attempt to reach Pengo. Pushing against a wall causes it to vibrate and temporarily stuns any Sno-Bees in contact with it; the player may then crush them with a block or simply run over them to destroy them. Contact with a Sno-Bee costs the player one life.

Three blocks in each round are marked with diamonds and cannot be crushed. Arranging these blocks in a continuous horizontal or vertical line awards bonus points and temporarily stuns every active Sno-Bee. If the player eliminates every Sno-Bee in less than 60 seconds, bonus points are awarded based on the time taken.

If the player survives for two minutes without either losing a life or completing the round, all active Sno-Bees become Blobs. Their movement speed increases and they will move directly toward one of the walls, crushing all ice blocks in their path. Once a Blob reaches a wall, it will move toward a corner of the screen and disappear upon reaching it. Once all Blobs have either disappeared or been destroyed, the round ends. If the player destroys one of the last two Sno-Bees, the survivor will become a Blob after a 12-second delay. However, if the player destroys multiple Sno-Bees and leaves only one alive, it will become a Blob immediately.[2]

The game includes a total of 16 rounds. After every second round, one of six intermission animations is displayed.


In Japan, Game Machine listed Pengo on their June 1, 1983 issue as being the fifteenth most-successful table arcade unit of the year.[3]


In 1982 and 1983 Bandai Electronics created two[4][5] official SEGA licensed handheld games featuring Pengo. The first was an LCD pocket game, the second a VFD table top version. In 1995 a brand new game called Pepenga Pengo was released for the Sega Mega Drive only in Japan.

In 2010 a location test for the wide screen remake was announced in arcades, which features eight player multiplay.[6][7] A second location test took place at Sega Shinjuku Nishiguchi in May 2012.[8] During the 3rd location test at Club Sega Akihabara Shinkan between 2012-07-14 and 2012-07-16 as part of the 4-game compilation title named 'Ge-sen Love ~Plus Pengo!~' (ゲーセンラブ。~プラス ペンゴ!~),[9] the game was made available as a download by RINGEDGE2 machines through Sega's new ALL.NET P-ras Multi game network,[10][11] and was later released on 2012-09-20.[12] The compilation title is included with the Xbox 360 game Ge-sen Love Plus Pengo!.[13][14][15]


Contemporary Pengo clones include Orca's Penga,[16] Pengi for the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron, Percy Penguin for the Commodore 64, Block Buster for the VIC-20, Chilly Willy for the Microbee,[17] Pengon for the TRS-80 Color Computer, Pengon for the Atari 8-bit family[18] Pengy for the Atari ST[19], Freez'Bees[20] and Do-Do for the ZX Spectrum, Pango[21] for MS-DOS.


  1. ^ "Pengo High Score Save & Enhancement Pack". Retrieved 2015-04-30.
  2. ^ "Pengo. Sus últimos secretos". Zona de pruebas. 2017-08-03. Retrieved 2017-08-03.
  3. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - テーブル型TVゲーム機 (Table Videos)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 213. Amusement Press. 1 June 1983. p. 29.
  4. ^ Jaro Gielens. "Electronic Plastic: a museum of handheld and tabletop games from the 1970s and 1980s". Retrieved 2015-04-30.
  5. ^ Jaro Gielens. "Electronic Plastic: a museum of handheld and tabletop games from the 1970s and 1980s". Retrieved 2015-04-30.
  6. ^ "'˝?l?"ƒvƒŒƒC'މÂ"\'É'Č'Á'˝ wƒyƒ"ƒS I x'Ěƒ ƒfƒBƒA'Î?R?í'ŞŠJ?Ă - ƒtƒ@ƒ~'Ę.com". 2010-07-30. Retrieved 2015-04-30.
  7. ^ "Five New Arcade Games To Get Excited About". Retrieved 2015-04-30.
  8. ^ "ロケテスト - シューティングラブログ。". 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2015-04-30.
  9. ^ "ロケテ - シューティングラブログ。". 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2015-04-30.
  10. ^ Archived July 16, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "3 Newsfeeds For The Price Of 1: Sega launches ALL.NET+ Multi, Fantastic Arcade, Midway Classics". Arcade Heroes. 2012-09-24. Retrieved 2015-04-30.
  12. ^ "ゲーセンラブ。〜プラス ペンゴ!〜[ARCADE]". 2012-09-20. Retrieved 2015-04-30.
  13. ^ "祝、Xbox 360版『ゲーセンラブ。~プラス ペンゴ!』移植決定! 藤野社長×石井ぜんじ特別対談! - ファミ通.com". 2014-01-20. Retrieved 2015-04-30.
  14. ^ "Game Center Love Plus Pengo Will Test Your Arcade Skills". Siliconera. 2014-01-02. Retrieved 2015-04-30.
  15. ^ "Xbox 360『ゲーセンラブ。~プラス ペンゴ!~』発売! | トライアングル・サービス". Retrieved 2015-04-30.
  16. ^ "Overseas Readers Column - Orca Apologizes To Sega For Copies Of "Pengo" Also". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 212. Amusement Press, Inc. 15 May 1983. p. 28.
  17. ^ Passfield, John. "My Games". Passfield Games.
  18. ^ "Pengon". Atari Mania.
  19. ^ "Atari ST Pengy". Atari Mania.
  20. ^ "Freez'Bees". World of Spectrum.
  21. ^ "Pango for DOS". Moby Games.

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