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Penumbear for iOS

Penumbear for iOS

Platform: iPhone/iPod
Category: Platformer

Penumbear is an iOS platformer developed by Taco Graveyard and published by Bulkypix. (What an awesome name for a developer, too.) It stars a cute, stuffed bear. What's interesting is that the bear can walk on penumbras, which are the outer edges of shadows. In other words, it's where light meets shadow.

Graphics and Sound

The atmosphere is superbly spooky in Penumbear. It features beautiful, 2D environments in a dark, scary castle. It looks dangerous, and it is dangerous for the poor little bear. The music is especially unsettling too. It blends perfectly with the graphics to create that wonderful atmosphere.


You're a bear. You can jump. You can walk on penumbras. It sounds pretty basic, but there's another aspect to the game. You have a fairy friend that follows you and can be used to trigger light switches. As you might expect, turning on or off lights will affect shadows and penumbras, allowing you to access areas you previously couldn't. You can also collect fireflies that can unlock doors for you. Effectively, they're keys.

In addition to those basics, there are collectible bears hidden throughout the levels. Penumbear tasks you with finding your way to the exit, collecting bears, discovering secret areas, and overcoming obstacles and monsters. It starts slow and cute, but the atmosphere gives you the clue that it's not that simple. In fact, it can get pretty difficult. Penumbear is packed with over 100 levels. Some levels are a bit annoying or cheap, but most of the levels are great.


Penumbear caught my eye because I thought it was a cute platformer. Of course, it was much more than that. I was surprised by the level design and challenge, and the atmosphere is superb. Platforming fans should like it because of the great level design and the fact that it works well with touch controls. (It's even a little forgiving; if you land on the edge of a platform, the bear shuffles, giving you a chance to get up.) Young gamers might be intrigued by the look of the game, but they should probably avoid it unless they're up for the challenge and don't mind the dark atmosphere. Penumbear is available on the App Store for $1.99.

This review was based off a copy provided by BulkyPix for review purposes. Peter is MrDevee on Apple's Game Center and @TheUser on Twitter.


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