Penguin Wars

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Penguin Wars
Home Data/Magical Company (NES, iOS)
ASCII (MSX, PC-8801, FM-7, X1, MZ-2500, Game Boy)
Pax Softnica (NES)
Matrix Software (Mobile)
Publisher(s)UPL (Arcade)
ASCII (MSX, NES, PC-8801, FM-7, X1, MZ-2500, Game Boy (JP))
NEXOFT (Game Boy (NA))
Nintendo (Game Boy (EU))
G-Mode (Mobile)
Enterbrain (iOS)
Programmer(s)Tsutomu Fujisawa
Sharp MZ-2500
Game Boy
Nintendo Switch
  • JP: June 14, 1985
  • JP: November 1, 1985
  • JP: December 25, 1985
NEC PC-8801
  • JP: February, 1986
Fujitsu FM-7
  • JP: February, 1986
Sharp X1
  • JP: February, 1986
Sharp MZ-2500
  • JP: May, 1986
Game Boy
  • JP: March 30, 1990
  • NA: July, 1990
  • EU: 1990
  • JP: November 15, 2003
  • JP: January 15, 2004
(EZ Appli)
  • JP: April 8, 2009
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
CPUZilog Z80
SoundGeneral Instrument AY-3-8910A (@ 1.5 MHz)×2
DisplayRaster 256 x 224, horizontal orientation, 32 palette colors
The bat and the cow battle (Game Boy)
The bat is declared King of the Zoo (Game Boy)

Penguin Wars (ぺんぎんくんWARS, Pengin-kun WARS) is an arcade game released in 1985 by UPL. It was ported to the original Game Boy (1990), MSX and Nintendo Entertainment System by ASCII under the title Penguin Wars. The Game Boy version of the game is known as King of the Zoo in Europe and Penguin-Kun Wars Vs. in Japan.


The player controls one of five animals (they can choose between cow, rabbit, bat, rat, and penguin) and plays games against all the other animals. In the Nintendo Entertainment System and arcade editions of the game the five animals are penguin, bear, panda, koala and beaver. In each game, the participating animals find each other on opposite sides of a square table with five balls on each side. The object of the game is to roll those balls over the table. As soon as all ten balls are on one player's side, that player loses the game. Each game also has a time limit of 60 seconds; if that is reached, the player with the fewest balls on their side wins.

If a player is hit by one of the balls, they are knocked unconscious for a certain amount of time. Thus, it could also be said that part of the object of the game is to hit the opponent, as otherwise it would not be possible to get all ten balls to the other side (the opponent can just roll them back before all of them have arrived).

The different animals have different strengths and weaknesses which are a trade-off with each other. For example, the rat is the one that can move left and right the fastest, but in return he can roll the balls only very slowly. The cow, on the other hand, is a very slow walker, but in return she regains consciousness more quickly.

After thirty seconds of playing, a jellybean-like obstacle appears in the middle of the table which moves left and right. Different kinds of these obstacles cause varying effects on the trajectory of the balls; some deflect them so they start rolling diagonally (the players themselves can only roll them parallel to the sides of the table), whereas others simply have the ball bounce straight back.


A remake of Penguin Wars was announced for the Nintendo Switch on July 25, 2017. The game was released in Japan on September 21, 2017.[1] A PlayStation 4 and Xbox One version was announced in November.[2] The Nintendo Switch version was released on August 15, 2018 in North America. while the PS4 version was released 15 days later.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "懐かしのアケゲー『ぺんぎんくんWARS』がまさかのリメイク!!ニンテンドースイッチで2017年秋配信". Esuteru. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  2. ^ "Penguin Wars coming west for Switch, PS4, and Xbox One in early 2018". Gematsu. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  3. ^ "Penguin Wars launches August 15 for Switch, August 30 for PS4 in North America and Europe". Gematsu. Retrieved August 23, 2018.

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