United Penguin Kingdom Review

Game: United Penguin Kingdom
Genre: Simulation, Strategy
System: Steam (Windows)
Developers | Publishers: Turquoise Revival Games | GrabTheGames, Upgraded Points
Controller Support: No
Price: US $TBC | UK £TBC | EU € TBC
Release Date: March 9th, 2024

A review code was used, with many thanks to Icebreaker PR.

United Penguin Kingdom is an imaginative game that breathes life into the classic city buildings genre by using a playful twist.

As the name suggests, the main star of United Penguin Kingdom is a bunch of charming penguins. This idea takes inspiration from the success of titles like Timberborn, where hardworking beavers stole the spotlight. In United Penguin Kingdom, you can expect a blend of urban planning and management as you navigate the challenges of building and maintaining a bustling penguin metropolis.

I previously played the free prologue United Kingdom Huddle Up, and it’s great to see the game in its final build and ready to be released.

United Penguin Kingdom

United Penguin Kingdom, relaxed, normal, hard and survival modes are all available
Relaxed, normal, hard and survival modes are all available

Starting in the United Penguin Kingdom, you have the usual choices to make in this type of game: choose between six maps to play on, and relaxed, normal, hard and survival modes are all available as well.

For my first playthrough, I went with the relaxed mode, and then I played in normal mode and tried out the survival mode as well. Additionally, United Penguins Kingdom’s tutorial is quite good; it teaches you most of the things you need to know. If you need a reminder, there is a good in-game help section. In all of the game modes, you are given five buildings to begin your penguin settlement with.

Complete Tasks to Gain Resources

United Penguin Kingdom, Build a city for the cute penguins
Build a city for the cute penguins.

After they are placed, you then follow tasks given to you by the game to grow the settlement. Tasks include things like building homes and kid’s homes for your penguins. You must complete the tasks within a certain time frame to earn resources such as snow blocks, plastic, wood and gold; you also earn some reputation points.

The five starting buildings
The five starting buildings

Completing the tasks is the only way to get resources like wood or stone. Since you are building a city on the ice, there are no forests or areas to set up a stone quarry. You can gather resources from both the oceans, where there’s plenty of plastic trash.

You must also supply power to keep your settlements running by placing wind turbines around your settlement. In the prologue impression article I wrote, I mentioned that the range for the wind turbines was small; this is still the case in the final build of the game.

Reputation and Tech

United Penguin Kingdom Generate science points to open new tech
Generate science points to open new tech.

You also have a reputation score that serves as an assessment of your settlement’s standing within the kingdom. The reputation score depends on things like your settlement’s happiness, education, gold, fun resting, spirituality, decorations, coolers, and public happiness.

By meeting various requirements and enhancing your reputation, you can increase your penguins’ happiness and grow your settlement from a humble village to a royal kingdom. When you do, you become king, and you can embark on explorations, discover uncharted territories, and have the authority to determine which settlements join your kingdom.

As is usual with simulation games of this type, there is a tech tree where you can open up new buildings to construct, such as a Herb collector, a Temple, a school and entertainment items like a skating rink.

Keep the Penguins Happy

all the penguins Huddle up
Huddle up

Of course, to keep the Penguins happy, they need entertainment and nice things, like merry-go-rounds and ice skating rinks. You can also call the penguins to huddle up; all the penguins will gather together and…well, huddle up to increase their happiness.

However, it’s not all fun, as you have to defend your settlement from seals and whales who come to steal your resources and gold, and there’s the danger of killer whales destroying your buildings, which then have to be rebuilt.

Visuals and Music

Place paths and add decorations
Place paths and add decorations

United Penguin Kingdom graphics look good on my computer; the sound effects and the sounds of the penguins, seals, and whales all add to the environment in the game.

I liked the music when I first started playing United Penguin Kingdom for this review, but I’m not so sure I like it now after hearing it constantly repeat the same tracks over again. Much more variety in the soundtrack would not have gone amiss, and it would be great if it didn’t get repetitive quickly.

A Few Niggles

the range of the wind turbine is small
the range of the wind turbine is small

There is plenty to keep you busy in the United Penguin Kingdom, though at times, I struggled to construct buildings I needed more penguin help constantly.

In the later stages of the gameplay, I felt that it did drag out a bit; penguins are slow to breed, and I was continuously battling killer whales that kept attacking the fishing dock. I feel that there are a few balance issues with the gameplay-loop in the later stages of the game.

Also, the text is too small. I had problems reading the event log in the corner of the screen on my laptop. It would be much more player-friendly to have a setting to increase the text size, but there isn’t one.

Runs on the Steam Deck

United Penguin Kingdom does run pretty well on the Steam Deck, though since I think the text is too small on a 15-inch screen, reading the text on the Steam Deck is impossible. However, it does run, though you might need a magnifying glass.

busy city of penguins
Busy city of penguins


United Penguin Kingdom is a middle-of-the-road simulation game for me. I understand the need to complete tasks to get the resources due to the environment in which the game is set. However, having to complete the same tasks over and over again each time you start a new game is not my idea of fun, especially since there isn’t a free-reign mode where you can play how you like and have freedom. So, for that reason, United Penguin Kingdom just scrapes through on an I like it score.

Final Verdict: I Like it  I like it


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