REVIEW | United Penguin Kingdom

REVIEW | United Penguin Kingdom

A city-builder where you’re racing time, beating personal goals and tending to the various needs of your citizens, … but with penguins? That’s a stroke of genius. 

The goal of the game is to build your own penguin settlement and branch out, from a village to a city and so on, all the while trying to make sure your penguins stay alive and killer whales and seals don’t destroy your hard earned buildings or eat all of your precious food.

With ‘United Penguin Kingdom’, Turquoise Revival Games have made their second city-builder, right after ‘Oxygen’. Looking forward to more variations of indie base-building games from these developers!

ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on X!

DeveloperTurquoise Revival Games
PublisherGrab the Games

Things I liked!

  • Focus on sustainability | It’s a lovely touch to the game that the penguin city you’re building is sustainable. This nod to climate change is mixed into the game as a fun tool to work and play around, for instance, you’re powering the city with renewable energy. Penguins are animals that benefit from or even depend on a healthy climate, after all.
  • Speed it up! | There is a learning curve to the game, obviously, but time doesn’t stand still. Or does it? You can choose to pause the game or make it go faster, depending on your needs and your learning pace. 
  • Ambitious gameplay | You could just be chilling, make a nice settlement with neat patterns and what not. But I personally love the fact that there are several goals you could be grinding towards, for instance you could try to get the highest form of settlement, which is to become ‘King’ or you could try to receive badges by building certain more difficult combinations and obtaining reputation points.
  • Cute & relaxing | The graphics were nicer than I had expected from what I’m used to with this type of game and the gameplay is quite relaxing. You could really lose track of time, building your dream settlement. There are also quite a lot of fun and cute options to build, like an ice rink, where you can see your penguins living their best lives. 
  • Sharing the news | The game keeps track of who reaches certain goals and shares the news. You do have to build a certain building to receive the news, though. I thought this was so cute, that you could be cheering each other on, or hate on them, whatever is your preferred style.
  • Fitting music | The music fits the game, it is catchy and relaxing. I love the use of flutes to give off a playful touch, where the strings and the piano give that more relaxing quality.

Neither good nor bad

  • Personalisation | At the start of the game you can personalize a sort of weapon shield, it has nothing to do with the game, the art style isn’t the same. It’s just a little random to me.
  • Sound | I like the fact that there is a different sound when you click on something, but there is nothing too memorable.
  • Very long tutorials | I did not really understand the purpose of having 3 separate tutorials and making them quite long. It just didn’t seem necessary and it creates a bit of a threshold when starting the game.
  • Limits | I like the feeling of a ‘the sky is the limit’ gameplay and there seems to be something missing, some creativity or out-of-the-box thinking, maybe you could leave the choice to make a little less realistic settlement, change colors, not build your settlement on ice blocks but on other materials, heck, maybe even in space?! When you have reached the highest form of settlement or the highest reputation, what else is there to do but to start all over?

Things I disliked!

  • Killer whales | Your buildings are being attacked by killer whales every so often, not until quite late in the game are you able to defend yourself and even then, the defense does not always seem to work, this is a little frustrating to me. The killer whales are a necessary evil to give a little edge and difficulty to the game, but they arrive just a little too soon and the defense is lacking unless you are quite far in the game.
  • Pick up the pace | Another thing I did find quite so and so, is the pace of the game, for instance, when penguins will be working on something they will interrupt this by taking a nap out of the blue, and by the way, on the job! So it is up to you to manage the wellbeing of your penguins closely, but when you expand, it is nearly impossible to keep a close eye on all of your penguins. So you will have to constantly pause the game to do so. I do understand how this makes the game more difficult, but it seems like there are less frustrating ways to go about it.

How long did I play the review before publishing? 10 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | 30 hours
You’ll love this game if you like these |  Oxygen, Cities: Skylines,Anno 1800, SimCity 4


70/100You will find yourself losing track of time while playing this game and it can get quite addictive. Still, it does feel like there is some creativity lacking. I ended up having the feeling like there was something missing. For an indie city-builder, it’s a very solid game, and I had a great time tending to my penguins, so I would recommend.