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Video Game / Snowpack Park

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Nintendo commissioned Skip, Ltd.—the makers of Chibi-Robo!—to make them a WiiWare game. 2010's Snowpack Park is the end result, and it as every bit as odd—and strangely entertaining—as would be expected from Skip. It plays out like a cross between Pikmin, Chao Gardens, and Mario Party. With penguins. And yes, it is as peculiar as it sounds.

You are a well-meaning visitor to Snowpack Park, a frosty wonderland where penguins play and frolic. However, a blizzard closes off most of the park, and scares off a majority of the penguins. The park's caretaker—a weirdly anthropomorphic penguin himself—then enlists your help in getting some penguins back to the park. This involves traveling to various areas, and using various techniques to make them like you. Then you catch them, take them back, and continue to care for them—while enlisting their help for use in various tasks. Including mini-games which involve thorwing penguins around like there's no tomorrow.

There are also aliens, blowfish that turn into snowballs, and penguins wearing tiny musical instruments on their heads.

Just so you know what you're getting into.

This work contains examples of:

  • Betting Mini-Game: "Whirl to Win," which takes the "tombola" approach.
  • Door to Before: A few areas have puzzles in them which open up shortcuts to earlier areas.
  • Easter Egg: In the tutorial, the caretaker complains how everyone wants to pet the cute little penguins: "It's like if you're tall and blue around here, you don't even exist!" If you walk up to him and press the C button, you can pet him. He dances for you.
  • Fishing Minigame: Two. One will only let you catch Chowfish (your basic penguin food), but can be done anywhere on the map. Another one lets you catch tuna and blowfish, but can only be done in one spot.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: You can name yourself if you choose the default character or a "guest" Mii, but if you choose a Mii you've made, you'll take that Mii's name. However, you can also name the penguins—though they come with names of their own, if you don't want to bother naming 100 different penguins.
  • Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: You're a human, but the park manager is some kind of... penguin-ish man thing.
  • Made of Iron: Those penguins! They don't mind being used as basketballs!
  • Metal Detector Puzzle: You use the Fish Sticks (...groan) in this way to find Chowfish for your penguins.
  • Schmuck Bait: Every item hidden in Sliptop Drift Ice, at the very edges of a very Slippy-Slidey Ice World, right before the insta-end sea.
  • Shout-Out: You can get a Captain Rainbow or Drake Redcrest helmet for your penguins.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: ...Obviously. Of special note, however, is Sliptop Drift Ice, which is slippery all over. Since falling into the ocean is basically a Game Over in penguin-collecting areas, it can be tricky to get the items it hides at its very edges.
  • Speaking Simlish: The park caretaker babbles in rapid-fire simlish—which was part of which suggested that Skip made the game, before Skip confirmed their involvement.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Well, it is a very cold ocean.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: One way to befriend penguins is to feed them Chowfish or Tuna.
  • Timed Mission: Every penguin-collecting area has a time limit.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: The penguins love tuna. So much, they will chase you down and tackle you if you're holding it.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Especially where the baby penguins are concerned. D'aaww! Don't you want to pet them?
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can pick up a baby penguin and carry it around in order to make its parent follow you. Or just chuck birds into the ocean.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: You can get different coats, and you can put hats and masks on your penguins.