Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading. In this installment, we’re covering Penko Park by developer Ghostbutter.

Penko Park: (The Explanation)

What do you get when you take a huge amount of love and respect for Pokémon Snap and find yourself feeling inspired by your childhood memories of playing the Nintendo 64 classic? Well, if you’re the development team that makes up Ghostbutter, and add some of your creative ideas to try and put a new spin on an established working formula, you get Penko Park. First released back in 2020 for Steam, Penko Park is now rolling out onto Nintendo Switch and we’re all here for it.

Being the Pokémon Snap-inspired game that it is, Penko Park is an on-the-rails shooter game, that replaces weaponry with a camera and tasks players with exploring a wildlife park that was first founded in 1952. Since the “supremely honourable” Sir Rubertus Penko founded the park, the wildlife reserve has fallen on tough times and has long since been abandoned. Still, with more than 140 species of spooky inhabitants still calling Penko Park home, there are plenty of curious creatures for players to snap pictures of with their complimentary Penko Snap-A-Lot 9000 camera. Who knows? As you explore, you might just uncover the events that lead Penko Park to its current state. 

Due to its photo-centric nature, in terms of the game’s photography-based gimmick, players must use their cameras to take photos of creatures. You can zoom in and you can zoom out, but you will need to line up your shots perfectly, should you wish to attain three stars on the photo. Of course, there is a touch more to it than just taking a picture of your subject, as there are a variety of actions for certain creatures to perform, but the players will need to work out what manner of items or songs, are required to get them to perform.

When you reach the end of each given area, or just run out of your film, the photos you’ve taken will be added to your album and experience points will be earned based on how well you did. Provided you gain enough experience points, players can unlock stamps that vary in their functionality.

Some will allow you to access new regions, others will unlock items like the Penko Wand and the Penko Grappling Hand, which can be used to interact with the environments around you, allowing you to pull levers and collect artifacts. There’s also the special Ghost-o-vision function for your camera, which allows you to momentarily enter the spirit realm and take pictures of spectral creatures. With these added items and functions, the gameplay of Penko Park opens up and becomes all the more engaging, giving players more to do and more to look out for.

It has been said that originally for Penko Park an open world was first considered, but as it didn’t work with the desired gameplay style, it was scrapped for the segmented game that we have now, which does feel like the perfect formula to have gone with. Where I feel Penko Park comes into its own, however, is the inclusion of the game’s horror feel, but 2D skeletal animation, giving each character a puppet-like feel to them, with a look and feel of older illustrated children’s books. Everything comes together in such a pleasing way that even when the game is at its creepiest, it still maintains a level of cuteness throughout that younger players will be able to enjoy, but older players as well.

If I had to bring up one “negative” I have with Penko Park, it would have to be its lack of familiarity, but even then, that can be a blessing in disguise. When Pokémon Snap was first released, there had already been other Pokémon games and an anime to establish what the first 151 Pokémon look like. So, by the time you come across them in Pokémon Snap, you’re immediately snapping pictures of them, whereas with Penko Park, as each creature is new to the player, in every new area you explore, there are moments you will be questioning yourself over what are creatures in need of photographing and which ones are just scenery.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some creatures you can look at and immediately know stick out like a sore thumb, but then there are others that are so well designed that they do blend into their habitat and will require a double take. On the plus side, when you do find yourself being right about what is a creature and what isn’t, there is a small sense of accomplishment that comes with it. Also, the more you play, the more you will be able to hone in on the fantastical creatures that await you and as you gain enough experience to amass more stamps, the more control you will gain in terms of exploration, thanks to being able to speed the kart up or just stop it dead in its tracks, giving you more time for each assessment.

To its credit, Penko Park is a phenomenal game in its own right and has a price tag not to turn your nose up at. Content-wise, players will be able to play through the entire adventure in a two-hour session, but setting out to fully complete the title, will take longer. Having said that, there’s now, even more, to do and see thanks to the Shivering Crypts expansion, which adds another park region, home to 40 new monsters and possesses more collectables for players to discover. In short, a great game has only gotten even better and it’s the perfect game to add to your collection as it’s a smaller title you can enjoy at any time between all the big releases that we’ve been drowning in, all year long.

Penko Park: (The Gameplay)

Game Specifications:

Developer: Ghostbutter
Publisher: Secret Mode
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Simulation, Adventure 
No. of Players: 1 player
Release Date: September 27, 2022 (Worldwide)
Price:
$12.99
File Size: 531 MB
Nintendo.com Listing

Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading. In this installment, we’re covering Penko Park by developer Ghostbutter.

Penko Park: (The Explanation)

What do you get when you take a huge amount of love and respect for Pokémon Snap and find yourself feeling inspired by your childhood memories of playing the Nintendo 64 classic? Well, if you’re the development team that makes up Ghostbutter, and add some of your creative ideas to try and put a new spin on an established working formula, you get Penko Park. First released back in 2020 for Steam, Penko Park is now rolling out onto Nintendo Switch and we’re all here for it.

Being the Pokémon Snap-inspired game that it is, Penko Park is an on-the-rails shooter game, that replaces weaponry with a camera and tasks players with exploring a wildlife park that was first founded in 1952. Since the “supremely honourable” Sir Rubertus Penko founded the park, the wildlife reserve has fallen on tough times and has long since been abandoned. Still, with more than 140 species of spooky inhabitants still calling Penko Park home, there are plenty of curious creatures for players to snap pictures of with their complimentary Penko Snap-A-Lot 9000 camera. Who knows? As you explore, you might just uncover the events that lead Penko Park to its current state. 

Due to its photo-centric nature, in terms of the game’s photography-based gimmick, players must use their cameras to take photos of creatures. You can zoom in and you can zoom out, but you will need to line up your shots perfectly, should you wish to attain three stars on the photo. Of course, there is a touch more to it than just taking a picture of your subject, as there are a variety of actions for certain creatures to perform, but the players will need to work out what manner of items or songs, are required to get them to perform.

When you reach the end of each given area, or just run out of your film, the photos you’ve taken will be added to your album and experience points will be earned based on how well you did. Provided you gain enough experience points, players can unlock stamps that vary in their functionality.

Some will allow you to access new regions, others will unlock items like the Penko Wand and the Penko Grappling Hand, which can be used to interact with the environments around you, allowing you to pull levers and collect artifacts. There’s also the special Ghost-o-vision function for your camera, which allows you to momentarily enter the spirit realm and take pictures of spectral creatures. With these added items and functions, the gameplay of Penko Park opens up and becomes all the more engaging, giving players more to do and more to look out for.

It has been said that originally for Penko Park an open world was first considered, but as it didn’t work with the desired gameplay style, it was scrapped for the segmented game that we have now, which does feel like the perfect formula to have gone with. Where I feel Penko Park comes into its own, however, is the inclusion of the game’s horror feel, but 2D skeletal animation, giving each character a puppet-like feel to them, with a look and feel of older illustrated children’s books. Everything comes together in such a pleasing way that even when the game is at its creepiest, it still maintains a level of cuteness throughout that younger players will be able to enjoy, but older players as well.

If I had to bring up one “negative” I have with Penko Park, it would have to be its lack of familiarity, but even then, that can be a blessing in disguise. When Pokémon Snap was first released, there had already been other Pokémon games and an anime to establish what the first 151 Pokémon look like. So, by the time you come across them in Pokémon Snap, you’re immediately snapping pictures of them, whereas with Penko Park, as each creature is new to the player, in every new area you explore, there are moments you will be questioning yourself over what are creatures in need of photographing and which ones are just scenery.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some creatures you can look at and immediately know stick out like a sore thumb, but then there are others that are so well designed that they do blend into their habitat and will require a double take. On the plus side, when you do find yourself being right about what is a creature and what isn’t, there is a small sense of accomplishment that comes with it. Also, the more you play, the more you will be able to hone in on the fantastical creatures that await you and as you gain enough experience to amass more stamps, the more control you will gain in terms of exploration, thanks to being able to speed the kart up or just stop it dead in its tracks, giving you more time for each assessment.

To its credit, Penko Park is a phenomenal game in its own right and has a price tag not to turn your nose up at. Content-wise, players will be able to play through the entire adventure in a two-hour session, but setting out to fully complete the title, will take longer. Having said that, there’s now, even more, to do and see thanks to the Shivering Crypts expansion, which adds another park region, home to 40 new monsters and possesses more collectables for players to discover. In short, a great game has only gotten even better and it’s the perfect game to add to your collection as it’s a smaller title you can enjoy at any time between all the big releases that we’ve been drowning in, all year long.

Penko Park: (The Gameplay)

Game Specifications:

Developer: Ghostbutter
Publisher: Secret Mode
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Simulation, Adventure 
No. of Players: 1 player
Release Date: September 27, 2022 (Worldwide)
Price:
$12.99
File Size: 531 MB
Nintendo.com Listing

Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading. In this installment, we’re covering Penko Park by developer Ghostbutter.

Penko Park: (The Explanation)

What do you get when you take a huge amount of love and respect for Pokémon Snap and find yourself feeling inspired by your childhood memories of playing the Nintendo 64 classic? Well, if you’re the development team that makes up Ghostbutter, and add some of your creative ideas to try and put a new spin on an established working formula, you get Penko Park. First released back in 2020 for Steam, Penko Park is now rolling out onto Nintendo Switch and we’re all here for it.

Being the Pokémon Snap-inspired game that it is, Penko Park is an on-the-rails shooter game, that replaces weaponry with a camera and tasks players with exploring a wildlife park that was first founded in 1952. Since the “supremely honourable” Sir Rubertus Penko founded the park, the wildlife reserve has fallen on tough times and has long since been abandoned. Still, with more than 140 species of spooky inhabitants still calling Penko Park home, there are plenty of curious creatures for players to snap pictures of with their complimentary Penko Snap-A-Lot 9000 camera. Who knows? As you explore, you might just uncover the events that lead Penko Park to its current state. 

Due to its photo-centric nature, in terms of the game’s photography-based gimmick, players must use their cameras to take photos of creatures. You can zoom in and you can zoom out, but you will need to line up your shots perfectly, should you wish to attain three stars on the photo. Of course, there is a touch more to it than just taking a picture of your subject, as there are a variety of actions for certain creatures to perform, but the players will need to work out what manner of items or songs, are required to get them to perform.

When you reach the end of each given area, or just run out of your film, the photos you’ve taken will be added to your album and experience points will be earned based on how well you did. Provided you gain enough experience points, players can unlock stamps that vary in their functionality.

Some will allow you to access new regions, others will unlock items like the Penko Wand and the Penko Grappling Hand, which can be used to interact with the environments around you, allowing you to pull levers and collect artifacts. There’s also the special Ghost-o-vision function for your camera, which allows you to momentarily enter the spirit realm and take pictures of spectral creatures. With these added items and functions, the gameplay of Penko Park opens up and becomes all the more engaging, giving players more to do and more to look out for.

It has been said that originally for Penko Park an open world was first considered, but as it didn’t work with the desired gameplay style, it was scrapped for the segmented game that we have now, which does feel like the perfect formula to have gone with. Where I feel Penko Park comes into its own, however, is the inclusion of the game’s horror feel, but 2D skeletal animation, giving each character a puppet-like feel to them, with a look and feel of older illustrated children’s books. Everything comes together in such a pleasing way that even when the game is at its creepiest, it still maintains a level of cuteness throughout that younger players will be able to enjoy, but older players as well.

If I had to bring up one “negative” I have with Penko Park, it would have to be its lack of familiarity, but even then, that can be a blessing in disguise. When Pokémon Snap was first released, there had already been other Pokémon games and an anime to establish what the first 151 Pokémon look like. So, by the time you come across them in Pokémon Snap, you’re immediately snapping pictures of them, whereas with Penko Park, as each creature is new to the player, in every new area you explore, there are moments you will be questioning yourself over what are creatures in need of photographing and which ones are just scenery.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some creatures you can look at and immediately know stick out like a sore thumb, but then there are others that are so well designed that they do blend into their habitat and will require a double take. On the plus side, when you do find yourself being right about what is a creature and what isn’t, there is a small sense of accomplishment that comes with it. Also, the more you play, the more you will be able to hone in on the fantastical creatures that await you and as you gain enough experience to amass more stamps, the more control you will gain in terms of exploration, thanks to being able to speed the kart up or just stop it dead in its tracks, giving you more time for each assessment.

To its credit, Penko Park is a phenomenal game in its own right and has a price tag not to turn your nose up at. Content-wise, players will be able to play through the entire adventure in a two-hour session, but setting out to fully complete the title, will take longer. Having said that, there’s now, even more, to do and see thanks to the Shivering Crypts expansion, which adds another park region, home to 40 new monsters and possesses more collectables for players to discover. In short, a great game has only gotten even better and it’s the perfect game to add to your collection as it’s a smaller title you can enjoy at any time between all the big releases that we’ve been drowning in, all year long.

Penko Park: (The Gameplay)

Game Specifications:

Developer: Ghostbutter
Publisher: Secret Mode
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Simulation, Adventure 
No. of Players: 1 player
Release Date: September 27, 2022 (Worldwide)
Price:
$12.99
File Size: 531 MB
Nintendo.com Listing

Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading. In this installment, we’re covering Penko Park by developer Ghostbutter.

Penko Park: (The Explanation)

What do you get when you take a huge amount of love and respect for Pokémon Snap and find yourself feeling inspired by your childhood memories of playing the Nintendo 64 classic? Well, if you’re the development team that makes up Ghostbutter, and add some of your creative ideas to try and put a new spin on an established working formula, you get Penko Park. First released back in 2020 for Steam, Penko Park is now rolling out onto Nintendo Switch and we’re all here for it.

Being the Pokémon Snap-inspired game that it is, Penko Park is an on-the-rails shooter game, that replaces weaponry with a camera and tasks players with exploring a wildlife park that was first founded in 1952. Since the “supremely honourable” Sir Rubertus Penko founded the park, the wildlife reserve has fallen on tough times and has long since been abandoned. Still, with more than 140 species of spooky inhabitants still calling Penko Park home, there are plenty of curious creatures for players to snap pictures of with their complimentary Penko Snap-A-Lot 9000 camera. Who knows? As you explore, you might just uncover the events that lead Penko Park to its current state. 

Due to its photo-centric nature, in terms of the game’s photography-based gimmick, players must use their cameras to take photos of creatures. You can zoom in and you can zoom out, but you will need to line up your shots perfectly, should you wish to attain three stars on the photo. Of course, there is a touch more to it than just taking a picture of your subject, as there are a variety of actions for certain creatures to perform, but the players will need to work out what manner of items or songs, are required to get them to perform.

When you reach the end of each given area, or just run out of your film, the photos you’ve taken will be added to your album and experience points will be earned based on how well you did. Provided you gain enough experience points, players can unlock stamps that vary in their functionality.

Some will allow you to access new regions, others will unlock items like the Penko Wand and the Penko Grappling Hand, which can be used to interact with the environments around you, allowing you to pull levers and collect artifacts. There’s also the special Ghost-o-vision function for your camera, which allows you to momentarily enter the spirit realm and take pictures of spectral creatures. With these added items and functions, the gameplay of Penko Park opens up and becomes all the more engaging, giving players more to do and more to look out for.

It has been said that originally for Penko Park an open world was first considered, but as it didn’t work with the desired gameplay style, it was scrapped for the segmented game that we have now, which does feel like the perfect formula to have gone with. Where I feel Penko Park comes into its own, however, is the inclusion of the game’s horror feel, but 2D skeletal animation, giving each character a puppet-like feel to them, with a look and feel of older illustrated children’s books. Everything comes together in such a pleasing way that even when the game is at its creepiest, it still maintains a level of cuteness throughout that younger players will be able to enjoy, but older players as well.

If I had to bring up one “negative” I have with Penko Park, it would have to be its lack of familiarity, but even then, that can be a blessing in disguise. When Pokémon Snap was first released, there had already been other Pokémon games and an anime to establish what the first 151 Pokémon look like. So, by the time you come across them in Pokémon Snap, you’re immediately snapping pictures of them, whereas with Penko Park, as each creature is new to the player, in every new area you explore, there are moments you will be questioning yourself over what are creatures in need of photographing and which ones are just scenery.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some creatures you can look at and immediately know stick out like a sore thumb, but then there are others that are so well designed that they do blend into their habitat and will require a double take. On the plus side, when you do find yourself being right about what is a creature and what isn’t, there is a small sense of accomplishment that comes with it. Also, the more you play, the more you will be able to hone in on the fantastical creatures that await you and as you gain enough experience to amass more stamps, the more control you will gain in terms of exploration, thanks to being able to speed the kart up or just stop it dead in its tracks, giving you more time for each assessment.

To its credit, Penko Park is a phenomenal game in its own right and has a price tag not to turn your nose up at. Content-wise, players will be able to play through the entire adventure in a two-hour session, but setting out to fully complete the title, will take longer. Having said that, there’s now, even more, to do and see thanks to the Shivering Crypts expansion, which adds another park region, home to 40 new monsters and possesses more collectables for players to discover. In short, a great game has only gotten even better and it’s the perfect game to add to your collection as it’s a smaller title you can enjoy at any time between all the big releases that we’ve been drowning in, all year long.

Penko Park: (The Gameplay)

Game Specifications:

Developer: Ghostbutter
Publisher: Secret Mode
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Simulation, Adventure 
No. of Players: 1 player
Release Date: September 27, 2022 (Worldwide)
Price:
$12.99
File Size: 531 MB
Nintendo.com Listing

Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading. In this installment, we’re covering Penko Park by developer Ghostbutter.

Penko Park: (The Explanation)

What do you get when you take a huge amount of love and respect for Pokémon Snap and find yourself feeling inspired by your childhood memories of playing the Nintendo 64 classic? Well, if you’re the development team that makes up Ghostbutter, and add some of your creative ideas to try and put a new spin on an established working formula, you get Penko Park. First released back in 2020 for Steam, Penko Park is now rolling out onto Nintendo Switch and we’re all here for it.

Being the Pokémon Snap-inspired game that it is, Penko Park is an on-the-rails shooter game, that replaces weaponry with a camera and tasks players with exploring a wildlife park that was first founded in 1952. Since the “supremely honourable” Sir Rubertus Penko founded the park, the wildlife reserve has fallen on tough times and has long since been abandoned. Still, with more than 140 species of spooky inhabitants still calling Penko Park home, there are plenty of curious creatures for players to snap pictures of with their complimentary Penko Snap-A-Lot 9000 camera. Who knows? As you explore, you might just uncover the events that lead Penko Park to its current state. 

Due to its photo-centric nature, in terms of the game’s photography-based gimmick, players must use their cameras to take photos of creatures. You can zoom in and you can zoom out, but you will need to line up your shots perfectly, should you wish to attain three stars on the photo. Of course, there is a touch more to it than just taking a picture of your subject, as there are a variety of actions for certain creatures to perform, but the players will need to work out what manner of items or songs, are required to get them to perform.

When you reach the end of each given area, or just run out of your film, the photos you’ve taken will be added to your album and experience points will be earned based on how well you did. Provided you gain enough experience points, players can unlock stamps that vary in their functionality.

Some will allow you to access new regions, others will unlock items like the Penko Wand and the Penko Grappling Hand, which can be used to interact with the environments around you, allowing you to pull levers and collect artifacts. There’s also the special Ghost-o-vision function for your camera, which allows you to momentarily enter the spirit realm and take pictures of spectral creatures. With these added items and functions, the gameplay of Penko Park opens up and becomes all the more engaging, giving players more to do and more to look out for.

It has been said that originally for Penko Park an open world was first considered, but as it didn’t work with the desired gameplay style, it was scrapped for the segmented game that we have now, which does feel like the perfect formula to have gone with. Where I feel Penko Park comes into its own, however, is the inclusion of the game’s horror feel, but 2D skeletal animation, giving each character a puppet-like feel to them, with a look and feel of older illustrated children’s books. Everything comes together in such a pleasing way that even when the game is at its creepiest, it still maintains a level of cuteness throughout that younger players will be able to enjoy, but older players as well.

If I had to bring up one “negative” I have with Penko Park, it would have to be its lack of familiarity, but even then, that can be a blessing in disguise. When Pokémon Snap was first released, there had already been other Pokémon games and an anime to establish what the first 151 Pokémon look like. So, by the time you come across them in Pokémon Snap, you’re immediately snapping pictures of them, whereas with Penko Park, as each creature is new to the player, in every new area you explore, there are moments you will be questioning yourself over what are creatures in need of photographing and which ones are just scenery.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some creatures you can look at and immediately know stick out like a sore thumb, but then there are others that are so well designed that they do blend into their habitat and will require a double take. On the plus side, when you do find yourself being right about what is a creature and what isn’t, there is a small sense of accomplishment that comes with it. Also, the more you play, the more you will be able to hone in on the fantastical creatures that await you and as you gain enough experience to amass more stamps, the more control you will gain in terms of exploration, thanks to being able to speed the kart up or just stop it dead in its tracks, giving you more time for each assessment.

To its credit, Penko Park is a phenomenal game in its own right and has a price tag not to turn your nose up at. Content-wise, players will be able to play through the entire adventure in a two-hour session, but setting out to fully complete the title, will take longer. Having said that, there’s now, even more, to do and see thanks to the Shivering Crypts expansion, which adds another park region, home to 40 new monsters and possesses more collectables for players to discover. In short, a great game has only gotten even better and it’s the perfect game to add to your collection as it’s a smaller title you can enjoy at any time between all the big releases that we’ve been drowning in, all year long.

Penko Park: (The Gameplay)

Game Specifications:

Developer: Ghostbutter
Publisher: Secret Mode
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Simulation, Adventure 
No. of Players: 1 player
Release Date: September 27, 2022 (Worldwide)
Price:
$12.99
File Size: 531 MB
Nintendo.com Listing

Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading. In this installment, we’re covering Penko Park by developer Ghostbutter.

Penko Park: (The Explanation)

What do you get when you take a huge amount of love and respect for Pokémon Snap and find yourself feeling inspired by your childhood memories of playing the Nintendo 64 classic? Well, if you’re the development team that makes up Ghostbutter, and add some of your creative ideas to try and put a new spin on an established working formula, you get Penko Park. First released back in 2020 for Steam, Penko Park is now rolling out onto Nintendo Switch and we’re all here for it.

Being the Pokémon Snap-inspired game that it is, Penko Park is an on-the-rails shooter game, that replaces weaponry with a camera and tasks players with exploring a wildlife park that was first founded in 1952. Since the “supremely honourable” Sir Rubertus Penko founded the park, the wildlife reserve has fallen on tough times and has long since been abandoned. Still, with more than 140 species of spooky inhabitants still calling Penko Park home, there are plenty of curious creatures for players to snap pictures of with their complimentary Penko Snap-A-Lot 9000 camera. Who knows? As you explore, you might just uncover the events that lead Penko Park to its current state. 

Due to its photo-centric nature, in terms of the game’s photography-based gimmick, players must use their cameras to take photos of creatures. You can zoom in and you can zoom out, but you will need to line up your shots perfectly, should you wish to attain three stars on the photo. Of course, there is a touch more to it than just taking a picture of your subject, as there are a variety of actions for certain creatures to perform, but the players will need to work out what manner of items or songs, are required to get them to perform.

When you reach the end of each given area, or just run out of your film, the photos you’ve taken will be added to your album and experience points will be earned based on how well you did. Provided you gain enough experience points, players can unlock stamps that vary in their functionality.

Some will allow you to access new regions, others will unlock items like the Penko Wand and the Penko Grappling Hand, which can be used to interact with the environments around you, allowing you to pull levers and collect artifacts. There’s also the special Ghost-o-vision function for your camera, which allows you to momentarily enter the spirit realm and take pictures of spectral creatures. With these added items and functions, the gameplay of Penko Park opens up and becomes all the more engaging, giving players more to do and more to look out for.

It has been said that originally for Penko Park an open world was first considered, but as it didn’t work with the desired gameplay style, it was scrapped for the segmented game that we have now, which does feel like the perfect formula to have gone with. Where I feel Penko Park comes into its own, however, is the inclusion of the game’s horror feel, but 2D skeletal animation, giving each character a puppet-like feel to them, with a look and feel of older illustrated children’s books. Everything comes together in such a pleasing way that even when the game is at its creepiest, it still maintains a level of cuteness throughout that younger players will be able to enjoy, but older players as well.

If I had to bring up one “negative” I have with Penko Park, it would have to be its lack of familiarity, but even then, that can be a blessing in disguise. When Pokémon Snap was first released, there had already been other Pokémon games and an anime to establish what the first 151 Pokémon look like. So, by the time you come across them in Pokémon Snap, you’re immediately snapping pictures of them, whereas with Penko Park, as each creature is new to the player, in every new area you explore, there are moments you will be questioning yourself over what are creatures in need of photographing and which ones are just scenery.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some creatures you can look at and immediately know stick out like a sore thumb, but then there are others that are so well designed that they do blend into their habitat and will require a double take. On the plus side, when you do find yourself being right about what is a creature and what isn’t, there is a small sense of accomplishment that comes with it. Also, the more you play, the more you will be able to hone in on the fantastical creatures that await you and as you gain enough experience to amass more stamps, the more control you will gain in terms of exploration, thanks to being able to speed the kart up or just stop it dead in its tracks, giving you more time for each assessment.

To its credit, Penko Park is a phenomenal game in its own right and has a price tag not to turn your nose up at. Content-wise, players will be able to play through the entire adventure in a two-hour session, but setting out to fully complete the title, will take longer. Having said that, there’s now, even more, to do and see thanks to the Shivering Crypts expansion, which adds another park region, home to 40 new monsters and possesses more collectables for players to discover. In short, a great game has only gotten even better and it’s the perfect game to add to your collection as it’s a smaller title you can enjoy at any time between all the big releases that we’ve been drowning in, all year long.

Penko Park: (The Gameplay)

Game Specifications:

Developer: Ghostbutter
Publisher: Secret Mode
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Simulation, Adventure 
No. of Players: 1 player
Release Date: September 27, 2022 (Worldwide)
Price:
$12.99
File Size: 531 MB
Nintendo.com Listing

Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading. In this installment, we’re covering Penko Park by developer Ghostbutter.

Penko Park: (The Explanation)

What do you get when you take a huge amount of love and respect for Pokémon Snap and find yourself feeling inspired by your childhood memories of playing the Nintendo 64 classic? Well, if you’re the development team that makes up Ghostbutter, and add some of your creative ideas to try and put a new spin on an established working formula, you get Penko Park. First released back in 2020 for Steam, Penko Park is now rolling out onto Nintendo Switch and we’re all here for it.

Being the Pokémon Snap-inspired game that it is, Penko Park is an on-the-rails shooter game, that replaces weaponry with a camera and tasks players with exploring a wildlife park that was first founded in 1952. Since the “supremely honourable” Sir Rubertus Penko founded the park, the wildlife reserve has fallen on tough times and has long since been abandoned. Still, with more than 140 species of spooky inhabitants still calling Penko Park home, there are plenty of curious creatures for players to snap pictures of with their complimentary Penko Snap-A-Lot 9000 camera. Who knows? As you explore, you might just uncover the events that lead Penko Park to its current state. 

Due to its photo-centric nature, in terms of the game’s photography-based gimmick, players must use their cameras to take photos of creatures. You can zoom in and you can zoom out, but you will need to line up your shots perfectly, should you wish to attain three stars on the photo. Of course, there is a touch more to it than just taking a picture of your subject, as there are a variety of actions for certain creatures to perform, but the players will need to work out what manner of items or songs, are required to get them to perform.

When you reach the end of each given area, or just run out of your film, the photos you’ve taken will be added to your album and experience points will be earned based on how well you did. Provided you gain enough experience points, players can unlock stamps that vary in their functionality.

Some will allow you to access new regions, others will unlock items like the Penko Wand and the Penko Grappling Hand, which can be used to interact with the environments around you, allowing you to pull levers and collect artifacts. There’s also the special Ghost-o-vision function for your camera, which allows you to momentarily enter the spirit realm and take pictures of spectral creatures. With these added items and functions, the gameplay of Penko Park opens up and becomes all the more engaging, giving players more to do and more to look out for.

It has been said that originally for Penko Park an open world was first considered, but as it didn’t work with the desired gameplay style, it was scrapped for the segmented game that we have now, which does feel like the perfect formula to have gone with. Where I feel Penko Park comes into its own, however, is the inclusion of the game’s horror feel, but 2D skeletal animation, giving each character a puppet-like feel to them, with a look and feel of older illustrated children’s books. Everything comes together in such a pleasing way that even when the game is at its creepiest, it still maintains a level of cuteness throughout that younger players will be able to enjoy, but older players as well.

If I had to bring up one “negative” I have with Penko Park, it would have to be its lack of familiarity, but even then, that can be a blessing in disguise. When Pokémon Snap was first released, there had already been other Pokémon games and an anime to establish what the first 151 Pokémon look like. So, by the time you come across them in Pokémon Snap, you’re immediately snapping pictures of them, whereas with Penko Park, as each creature is new to the player, in every new area you explore, there are moments you will be questioning yourself over what are creatures in need of photographing and which ones are just scenery.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some creatures you can look at and immediately know stick out like a sore thumb, but then there are others that are so well designed that they do blend into their habitat and will require a double take. On the plus side, when you do find yourself being right about what is a creature and what isn’t, there is a small sense of accomplishment that comes with it. Also, the more you play, the more you will be able to hone in on the fantastical creatures that await you and as you gain enough experience to amass more stamps, the more control you will gain in terms of exploration, thanks to being able to speed the kart up or just stop it dead in its tracks, giving you more time for each assessment.

To its credit, Penko Park is a phenomenal game in its own right and has a price tag not to turn your nose up at. Content-wise, players will be able to play through the entire adventure in a two-hour session, but setting out to fully complete the title, will take longer. Having said that, there’s now, even more, to do and see thanks to the Shivering Crypts expansion, which adds another park region, home to 40 new monsters and possesses more collectables for players to discover. In short, a great game has only gotten even better and it’s the perfect game to add to your collection as it’s a smaller title you can enjoy at any time between all the big releases that we’ve been drowning in, all year long.

Penko Park: (The Gameplay)

Game Specifications:

Developer: Ghostbutter
Publisher: Secret Mode
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Simulation, Adventure 
No. of Players: 1 player
Release Date: September 27, 2022 (Worldwide)
Price:
$12.99
File Size: 531 MB
Nintendo.com Listing

Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading. In this installment, we’re covering Penko Park by developer Ghostbutter.

Penko Park: (The Explanation)

What do you get when you take a huge amount of love and respect for Pokémon Snap and find yourself feeling inspired by your childhood memories of playing the Nintendo 64 classic? Well, if you’re the development team that makes up Ghostbutter, and add some of your creative ideas to try and put a new spin on an established working formula, you get Penko Park. First released back in 2020 for Steam, Penko Park is now rolling out onto Nintendo Switch and we’re all here for it.

Being the Pokémon Snap-inspired game that it is, Penko Park is an on-the-rails shooter game, that replaces weaponry with a camera and tasks players with exploring a wildlife park that was first founded in 1952. Since the “supremely honourable” Sir Rubertus Penko founded the park, the wildlife reserve has fallen on tough times and has long since been abandoned. Still, with more than 140 species of spooky inhabitants still calling Penko Park home, there are plenty of curious creatures for players to snap pictures of with their complimentary Penko Snap-A-Lot 9000 camera. Who knows? As you explore, you might just uncover the events that lead Penko Park to its current state. 

Due to its photo-centric nature, in terms of the game’s photography-based gimmick, players must use their cameras to take photos of creatures. You can zoom in and you can zoom out, but you will need to line up your shots perfectly, should you wish to attain three stars on the photo. Of course, there is a touch more to it than just taking a picture of your subject, as there are a variety of actions for certain creatures to perform, but the players will need to work out what manner of items or songs, are required to get them to perform.

When you reach the end of each given area, or just run out of your film, the photos you’ve taken will be added to your album and experience points will be earned based on how well you did. Provided you gain enough experience points, players can unlock stamps that vary in their functionality.

Some will allow you to access new regions, others will unlock items like the Penko Wand and the Penko Grappling Hand, which can be used to interact with the environments around you, allowing you to pull levers and collect artifacts. There’s also the special Ghost-o-vision function for your camera, which allows you to momentarily enter the spirit realm and take pictures of spectral creatures. With these added items and functions, the gameplay of Penko Park opens up and becomes all the more engaging, giving players more to do and more to look out for.

It has been said that originally for Penko Park an open world was first considered, but as it didn’t work with the desired gameplay style, it was scrapped for the segmented game that we have now, which does feel like the perfect formula to have gone with. Where I feel Penko Park comes into its own, however, is the inclusion of the game’s horror feel, but 2D skeletal animation, giving each character a puppet-like feel to them, with a look and feel of older illustrated children’s books. Everything comes together in such a pleasing way that even when the game is at its creepiest, it still maintains a level of cuteness throughout that younger players will be able to enjoy, but older players as well.

If I had to bring up one “negative” I have with Penko Park, it would have to be its lack of familiarity, but even then, that can be a blessing in disguise. When Pokémon Snap was first released, there had already been other Pokémon games and an anime to establish what the first 151 Pokémon look like. So, by the time you come across them in Pokémon Snap, you’re immediately snapping pictures of them, whereas with Penko Park, as each creature is new to the player, in every new area you explore, there are moments you will be questioning yourself over what are creatures in need of photographing and which ones are just scenery.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some creatures you can look at and immediately know stick out like a sore thumb, but then there are others that are so well designed that they do blend into their habitat and will require a double take. On the plus side, when you do find yourself being right about what is a creature and what isn’t, there is a small sense of accomplishment that comes with it. Also, the more you play, the more you will be able to hone in on the fantastical creatures that await you and as you gain enough experience to amass more stamps, the more control you will gain in terms of exploration, thanks to being able to speed the kart up or just stop it dead in its tracks, giving you more time for each assessment.

To its credit, Penko Park is a phenomenal game in its own right and has a price tag not to turn your nose up at. Content-wise, players will be able to play through the entire adventure in a two-hour session, but setting out to fully complete the title, will take longer. Having said that, there’s now, even more, to do and see thanks to the Shivering Crypts expansion, which adds another park region, home to 40 new monsters and possesses more collectables for players to discover. In short, a great game has only gotten even better and it’s the perfect game to add to your collection as it’s a smaller title you can enjoy at any time between all the big releases that we’ve been drowning in, all year long.

Penko Park: (The Gameplay)

Game Specifications:

Developer: Ghostbutter
Publisher: Secret Mode
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Simulation, Adventure 
No. of Players: 1 player
Release Date: September 27, 2022 (Worldwide)
Price:
$12.99
File Size: 531 MB
Nintendo.com Listing

Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading. In this installment, we’re covering Penko Park by developer Ghostbutter.

Penko Park: (The Explanation)

What do you get when you take a huge amount of love and respect for Pokémon Snap and find yourself feeling inspired by your childhood memories of playing the Nintendo 64 classic? Well, if you’re the development team that makes up Ghostbutter, and add some of your creative ideas to try and put a new spin on an established working formula, you get Penko Park. First released back in 2020 for Steam, Penko Park is now rolling out onto Nintendo Switch and we’re all here for it.

Being the Pokémon Snap-inspired game that it is, Penko Park is an on-the-rails shooter game, that replaces weaponry with a camera and tasks players with exploring a wildlife park that was first founded in 1952. Since the “supremely honourable” Sir Rubertus Penko founded the park, the wildlife reserve has fallen on tough times and has long since been abandoned. Still, with more than 140 species of spooky inhabitants still calling Penko Park home, there are plenty of curious creatures for players to snap pictures of with their complimentary Penko Snap-A-Lot 9000 camera. Who knows? As you explore, you might just uncover the events that lead Penko Park to its current state. 

Due to its photo-centric nature, in terms of the game’s photography-based gimmick, players must use their cameras to take photos of creatures. You can zoom in and you can zoom out, but you will need to line up your shots perfectly, should you wish to attain three stars on the photo. Of course, there is a touch more to it than just taking a picture of your subject, as there are a variety of actions for certain creatures to perform, but the players will need to work out what manner of items or songs, are required to get them to perform.

When you reach the end of each given area, or just run out of your film, the photos you’ve taken will be added to your album and experience points will be earned based on how well you did. Provided you gain enough experience points, players can unlock stamps that vary in their functionality.

Some will allow you to access new regions, others will unlock items like the Penko Wand and the Penko Grappling Hand, which can be used to interact with the environments around you, allowing you to pull levers and collect artifacts. There’s also the special Ghost-o-vision function for your camera, which allows you to momentarily enter the spirit realm and take pictures of spectral creatures. With these added items and functions, the gameplay of Penko Park opens up and becomes all the more engaging, giving players more to do and more to look out for.

It has been said that originally for Penko Park an open world was first considered, but as it didn’t work with the desired gameplay style, it was scrapped for the segmented game that we have now, which does feel like the perfect formula to have gone with. Where I feel Penko Park comes into its own, however, is the inclusion of the game’s horror feel, but 2D skeletal animation, giving each character a puppet-like feel to them, with a look and feel of older illustrated children’s books. Everything comes together in such a pleasing way that even when the game is at its creepiest, it still maintains a level of cuteness throughout that younger players will be able to enjoy, but older players as well.

If I had to bring up one “negative” I have with Penko Park, it would have to be its lack of familiarity, but even then, that can be a blessing in disguise. When Pokémon Snap was first released, there had already been other Pokémon games and an anime to establish what the first 151 Pokémon look like. So, by the time you come across them in Pokémon Snap, you’re immediately snapping pictures of them, whereas with Penko Park, as each creature is new to the player, in every new area you explore, there are moments you will be questioning yourself over what are creatures in need of photographing and which ones are just scenery.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some creatures you can look at and immediately know stick out like a sore thumb, but then there are others that are so well designed that they do blend into their habitat and will require a double take. On the plus side, when you do find yourself being right about what is a creature and what isn’t, there is a small sense of accomplishment that comes with it. Also, the more you play, the more you will be able to hone in on the fantastical creatures that await you and as you gain enough experience to amass more stamps, the more control you will gain in terms of exploration, thanks to being able to speed the kart up or just stop it dead in its tracks, giving you more time for each assessment.

To its credit, Penko Park is a phenomenal game in its own right and has a price tag not to turn your nose up at. Content-wise, players will be able to play through the entire adventure in a two-hour session, but setting out to fully complete the title, will take longer. Having said that, there’s now, even more, to do and see thanks to the Shivering Crypts expansion, which adds another park region, home to 40 new monsters and possesses more collectables for players to discover. In short, a great game has only gotten even better and it’s the perfect game to add to your collection as it’s a smaller title you can enjoy at any time between all the big releases that we’ve been drowning in, all year long.

Penko Park: (The Gameplay)

Game Specifications:

Developer: Ghostbutter
Publisher: Secret Mode
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Simulation, Adventure 
No. of Players: 1 player
Release Date: September 27, 2022 (Worldwide)
Price:
$12.99
File Size: 531 MB
Nintendo.com Listing

Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading. In this installment, we’re covering Penko Park by developer Ghostbutter.

Penko Park: (The Explanation)

What do you get when you take a huge amount of love and respect for Pokémon Snap and find yourself feeling inspired by your childhood memories of playing the Nintendo 64 classic? Well, if you’re the development team that makes up Ghostbutter, and add some of your creative ideas to try and put a new spin on an established working formula, you get Penko Park. First released back in 2020 for Steam, Penko Park is now rolling out onto Nintendo Switch and we’re all here for it.

Being the Pokémon Snap-inspired game that it is, Penko Park is an on-the-rails shooter game, that replaces weaponry with a camera and tasks players with exploring a wildlife park that was first founded in 1952. Since the “supremely honourable” Sir Rubertus Penko founded the park, the wildlife reserve has fallen on tough times and has long since been abandoned. Still, with more than 140 species of spooky inhabitants still calling Penko Park home, there are plenty of curious creatures for players to snap pictures of with their complimentary Penko Snap-A-Lot 9000 camera. Who knows? As you explore, you might just uncover the events that lead Penko Park to its current state. 

Due to its photo-centric nature, in terms of the game’s photography-based gimmick, players must use their cameras to take photos of creatures. You can zoom in and you can zoom out, but you will need to line up your shots perfectly, should you wish to attain three stars on the photo. Of course, there is a touch more to it than just taking a picture of your subject, as there are a variety of actions for certain creatures to perform, but the players will need to work out what manner of items or songs, are required to get them to perform.

When you reach the end of each given area, or just run out of your film, the photos you’ve taken will be added to your album and experience points will be earned based on how well you did. Provided you gain enough experience points, players can unlock stamps that vary in their functionality.

Some will allow you to access new regions, others will unlock items like the Penko Wand and the Penko Grappling Hand, which can be used to interact with the environments around you, allowing you to pull levers and collect artifacts. There’s also the special Ghost-o-vision function for your camera, which allows you to momentarily enter the spirit realm and take pictures of spectral creatures. With these added items and functions, the gameplay of Penko Park opens up and becomes all the more engaging, giving players more to do and more to look out for.

It has been said that originally for Penko Park an open world was first considered, but as it didn’t work with the desired gameplay style, it was scrapped for the segmented game that we have now, which does feel like the perfect formula to have gone with. Where I feel Penko Park comes into its own, however, is the inclusion of the game’s horror feel, but 2D skeletal animation, giving each character a puppet-like feel to them, with a look and feel of older illustrated children’s books. Everything comes together in such a pleasing way that even when the game is at its creepiest, it still maintains a level of cuteness throughout that younger players will be able to enjoy, but older players as well.

If I had to bring up one “negative” I have with Penko Park, it would have to be its lack of familiarity, but even then, that can be a blessing in disguise. When Pokémon Snap was first released, there had already been other Pokémon games and an anime to establish what the first 151 Pokémon look like. So, by the time you come across them in Pokémon Snap, you’re immediately snapping pictures of them, whereas with Penko Park, as each creature is new to the player, in every new area you explore, there are moments you will be questioning yourself over what are creatures in need of photographing and which ones are just scenery.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some creatures you can look at and immediately know stick out like a sore thumb, but then there are others that are so well designed that they do blend into their habitat and will require a double take. On the plus side, when you do find yourself being right about what is a creature and what isn’t, there is a small sense of accomplishment that comes with it. Also, the more you play, the more you will be able to hone in on the fantastical creatures that await you and as you gain enough experience to amass more stamps, the more control you will gain in terms of exploration, thanks to being able to speed the kart up or just stop it dead in its tracks, giving you more time for each assessment.

To its credit, Penko Park is a phenomenal game in its own right and has a price tag not to turn your nose up at. Content-wise, players will be able to play through the entire adventure in a two-hour session, but setting out to fully complete the title, will take longer. Having said that, there’s now, even more, to do and see thanks to the Shivering Crypts expansion, which adds another park region, home to 40 new monsters and possesses more collectables for players to discover. In short, a great game has only gotten even better and it’s the perfect game to add to your collection as it’s a smaller title you can enjoy at any time between all the big releases that we’ve been drowning in, all year long.

Penko Park: (The Gameplay)

Game Specifications:

Developer: Ghostbutter
Publisher: Secret Mode
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Simulation, Adventure 
No. of Players: 1 player
Release Date: September 27, 2022 (Worldwide)
Price:
$12.99
File Size: 531 MB
Nintendo.com Listing

Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading. In this installment, we’re covering Penko Park by developer Ghostbutter.

Penko Park: (The Explanation)

What do you get when you take a huge amount of love and respect for Pokémon Snap and find yourself feeling inspired by your childhood memories of playing the Nintendo 64 classic? Well, if you’re the development team that makes up Ghostbutter, and add some of your creative ideas to try and put a new spin on an established working formula, you get Penko Park. First released back in 2020 for Steam, Penko Park is now rolling out onto Nintendo Switch and we’re all here for it.

Being the Pokémon Snap-inspired game that it is, Penko Park is an on-the-rails shooter game, that replaces weaponry with a camera and tasks players with exploring a wildlife park that was first founded in 1952. Since the “supremely honourable” Sir Rubertus Penko founded the park, the wildlife reserve has fallen on tough times and has long since been abandoned. Still, with more than 140 species of spooky inhabitants still calling Penko Park home, there are plenty of curious creatures for players to snap pictures of with their complimentary Penko Snap-A-Lot 9000 camera. Who knows? As you explore, you might just uncover the events that lead Penko Park to its current state. 

Due to its photo-centric nature, in terms of the game’s photography-based gimmick, players must use their cameras to take photos of creatures. You can zoom in and you can zoom out, but you will need to line up your shots perfectly, should you wish to attain three stars on the photo. Of course, there is a touch more to it than just taking a picture of your subject, as there are a variety of actions for certain creatures to perform, but the players will need to work out what manner of items or songs, are required to get them to perform.

When you reach the end of each given area, or just run out of your film, the photos you’ve taken will be added to your album and experience points will be earned based on how well you did. Provided you gain enough experience points, players can unlock stamps that vary in their functionality.

Some will allow you to access new regions, others will unlock items like the Penko Wand and the Penko Grappling Hand, which can be used to interact with the environments around you, allowing you to pull levers and collect artifacts. There’s also the special Ghost-o-vision function for your camera, which allows you to momentarily enter the spirit realm and take pictures of spectral creatures. With these added items and functions, the gameplay of Penko Park opens up and becomes all the more engaging, giving players more to do and more to look out for.

It has been said that originally for Penko Park an open world was first considered, but as it didn’t work with the desired gameplay style, it was scrapped for the segmented game that we have now, which does feel like the perfect formula to have gone with. Where I feel Penko Park comes into its own, however, is the inclusion of the game’s horror feel, but 2D skeletal animation, giving each character a puppet-like feel to them, with a look and feel of older illustrated children’s books. Everything comes together in such a pleasing way that even when the game is at its creepiest, it still maintains a level of cuteness throughout that younger players will be able to enjoy, but older players as well.

If I had to bring up one “negative” I have with Penko Park, it would have to be its lack of familiarity, but even then, that can be a blessing in disguise. When Pokémon Snap was first released, there had already been other Pokémon games and an anime to establish what the first 151 Pokémon look like. So, by the time you come across them in Pokémon Snap, you’re immediately snapping pictures of them, whereas with Penko Park, as each creature is new to the player, in every new area you explore, there are moments you will be questioning yourself over what are creatures in need of photographing and which ones are just scenery.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some creatures you can look at and immediately know stick out like a sore thumb, but then there are others that are so well designed that they do blend into their habitat and will require a double take. On the plus side, when you do find yourself being right about what is a creature and what isn’t, there is a small sense of accomplishment that comes with it. Also, the more you play, the more you will be able to hone in on the fantastical creatures that await you and as you gain enough experience to amass more stamps, the more control you will gain in terms of exploration, thanks to being able to speed the kart up or just stop it dead in its tracks, giving you more time for each assessment.

To its credit, Penko Park is a phenomenal game in its own right and has a price tag not to turn your nose up at. Content-wise, players will be able to play through the entire adventure in a two-hour session, but setting out to fully complete the title, will take longer. Having said that, there’s now, even more, to do and see thanks to the Shivering Crypts expansion, which adds another park region, home to 40 new monsters and possesses more collectables for players to discover. In short, a great game has only gotten even better and it’s the perfect game to add to your collection as it’s a smaller title you can enjoy at any time between all the big releases that we’ve been drowning in, all year long.

Penko Park: (The Gameplay)

Game Specifications:

Developer: Ghostbutter
Publisher: Secret Mode
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Simulation, Adventure 
No. of Players: 1 player
Release Date: September 27, 2022 (Worldwide)
Price:
$12.99
File Size: 531 MB
Nintendo.com Listing

Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading. In this installment, we’re covering Penko Park by developer Ghostbutter.

Penko Park: (The Explanation)

What do you get when you take a huge amount of love and respect for Pokémon Snap and find yourself feeling inspired by your childhood memories of playing the Nintendo 64 classic? Well, if you’re the development team that makes up Ghostbutter, and add some of your creative ideas to try and put a new spin on an established working formula, you get Penko Park. First released back in 2020 for Steam, Penko Park is now rolling out onto Nintendo Switch and we’re all here for it.

Being the Pokémon Snap-inspired game that it is, Penko Park is an on-the-rails shooter game, that replaces weaponry with a camera and tasks players with exploring a wildlife park that was first founded in 1952. Since the “supremely honourable” Sir Rubertus Penko founded the park, the wildlife reserve has fallen on tough times and has long since been abandoned. Still, with more than 140 species of spooky inhabitants still calling Penko Park home, there are plenty of curious creatures for players to snap pictures of with their complimentary Penko Snap-A-Lot 9000 camera. Who knows? As you explore, you might just uncover the events that lead Penko Park to its current state. 

Due to its photo-centric nature, in terms of the game’s photography-based gimmick, players must use their cameras to take photos of creatures. You can zoom in and you can zoom out, but you will need to line up your shots perfectly, should you wish to attain three stars on the photo. Of course, there is a touch more to it than just taking a picture of your subject, as there are a variety of actions for certain creatures to perform, but the players will need to work out what manner of items or songs, are required to get them to perform.

When you reach the end of each given area, or just run out of your film, the photos you’ve taken will be added to your album and experience points will be earned based on how well you did. Provided you gain enough experience points, players can unlock stamps that vary in their functionality.

Some will allow you to access new regions, others will unlock items like the Penko Wand and the Penko Grappling Hand, which can be used to interact with the environments around you, allowing you to pull levers and collect artifacts. There’s also the special Ghost-o-vision function for your camera, which allows you to momentarily enter the spirit realm and take pictures of spectral creatures. With these added items and functions, the gameplay of Penko Park opens up and becomes all the more engaging, giving players more to do and more to look out for.

It has been said that originally for Penko Park an open world was first considered, but as it didn’t work with the desired gameplay style, it was scrapped for the segmented game that we have now, which does feel like the perfect formula to have gone with. Where I feel Penko Park comes into its own, however, is the inclusion of the game’s horror feel, but 2D skeletal animation, giving each character a puppet-like feel to them, with a look and feel of older illustrated children’s books. Everything comes together in such a pleasing way that even when the game is at its creepiest, it still maintains a level of cuteness throughout that younger players will be able to enjoy, but older players as well.

If I had to bring up one “negative” I have with Penko Park, it would have to be its lack of familiarity, but even then, that can be a blessing in disguise. When Pokémon Snap was first released, there had already been other Pokémon games and an anime to establish what the first 151 Pokémon look like. So, by the time you come across them in Pokémon Snap, you’re immediately snapping pictures of them, whereas with Penko Park, as each creature is new to the player, in every new area you explore, there are moments you will be questioning yourself over what are creatures in need of photographing and which ones are just scenery.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some creatures you can look at and immediately know stick out like a sore thumb, but then there are others that are so well designed that they do blend into their habitat and will require a double take. On the plus side, when you do find yourself being right about what is a creature and what isn’t, there is a small sense of accomplishment that comes with it. Also, the more you play, the more you will be able to hone in on the fantastical creatures that await you and as you gain enough experience to amass more stamps, the more control you will gain in terms of exploration, thanks to being able to speed the kart up or just stop it dead in its tracks, giving you more time for each assessment.

To its credit, Penko Park is a phenomenal game in its own right and has a price tag not to turn your nose up at. Content-wise, players will be able to play through the entire adventure in a two-hour session, but setting out to fully complete the title, will take longer. Having said that, there’s now, even more, to do and see thanks to the Shivering Crypts expansion, which adds another park region, home to 40 new monsters and possesses more collectables for players to discover. In short, a great game has only gotten even better and it’s the perfect game to add to your collection as it’s a smaller title you can enjoy at any time between all the big releases that we’ve been drowning in, all year long.

Penko Park: (The Gameplay)

Game Specifications:

Developer: Ghostbutter
Publisher: Secret Mode
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Simulation, Adventure 
No. of Players: 1 player
Release Date: September 27, 2022 (Worldwide)
Price:
$12.99
File Size: 531 MB
Nintendo.com Listing

By Jack Longman

In 2015, when rumours of the NX and Zelda U were everywhere, my brother and I started Miketendo64 and we've been running it ever since. As the Editor-in-Chief, I have attended video gaming events in three different countries, been to preview events, and penned more than 4,000 articles to date, ranging from news, to features, reviews, interviews and guides. I love gaming and I love all things Nintendo. I also love Networking, so don't be afaid to reach out. Email: contact@miketendo64.com / jack.lo@miketendo64.com Website: https://miketendo64.com/ YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyVMO4QgcniAjhLxoyc9n8Q

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