Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de

Plucky Penguins


Roberto Vaccher

Magic Works Games


No. of Players:
2 - 8



G@mebox publisher Frank Schulte-Kulkmann writes about the game:

The penguins in this game by MAGIC WORKS GAMES from Italy are rather cheeky - striving to feed their colleagues to an orca or the fearsome hungry walrus in order to become the Last Peng Standing (or paddling)…


So, the cute Plucky Penguins indeed is an arena-style game of player elimination, with the players trying to avoid their two arch enemies by neither staying in the water nor moving too close towards the land-bound walrus. However, the penguins here seem to be really resourceful, and so the players do not not only move their penguins around, but instead they will have to use a wide range of rather cutely illustrated Action cards which allow them to conduct all kinds of mischief like moving opposing penguins, initiating a walrus attack or stealing someone else's fish.

Fish can be collected at four holes in the ices, but there is always a danger that the walrus will approach, since the walrus always moves towards the player with most fish at the end of each round. So why bother about fish? Well, at the end of each round the walrus does not only move, but each penguin being either in the walrus influence sphere (spaces neighbouring the walrus) or in the water will have to draw a Walrus or Orca card respectively, telling him what the large mouthed menace is up to. Sometimes the penguins may get away being lucky, but sometimes the unlucky penguins will be eaten, effectively removing the player from the game.


The effects of such a card sometimes can be avoided by paying a tribute in fish, and there are also instant action cards which may be played at any time, possibly allowing a player to save his penguin in the last possible instant…

As can be guessed, Plucky Penguins is highly depended especially on the Action cards and in which way they are used by the players. Using them in the right way may move unlucky competitors right into the grasp of the two killing machines, provided the timing is right so that these players do not get a turn before the end round phase. In this aspect Plucky Penguins is a typical arena game, putting a player quite a bit up to his drawing luck if he wants to keep his penguin alive.

The sometimes hilarious artwork of Chiara Vian certainly is the biggest asset of this cute game. Like most arena-style games Plucky Penguins has no solution for the player elimination and the resulting downtime for the inactive players, but on the other hand the game is not intended as a serious challenge. Instead it stands for changing alliances and funny moments, and with these attributes it's certainly quite entertaining.


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