Title: Pen Pen TriIceLon
Developer: Team Land Ho!
Date Published: September 9, 1999
Platforms: Sega Dreamcast
Pen Pen TriIceLon is a Dreamcast launch title.
This is a racing game designed for children. First, the player must chose among seven "wacky" animated characters (ranging from a "goofy" looking penguin to a "sneaky" looking shark). Then, the race begins, which consists of a walking phase, a swimming phase, and a belly surfing phase (though not necessarily in that order). The controls consist of directing your Pen Pen with the analog stick, and pressing the A Button to either swim or surf through very brightly colored race courses. Each character has different strengths and weaknesses: for example, the shark is really good at swimming, but poor at walking. As the player wins races, they can collect little accessories to dress up their character.
One can play in "TriIceLon" mode, and try and defeat six AI controlled Pen Pens over the four race courses. The four racecourses have three difficulty settings, which the developers list as "twelve" tracks. After winning the race on all "twelve" tracks, the hidden character Hanamizu can be unlocked. He is a cute monkey in a straw hat, and fits right in with the other deformed, cute characters.
Sadly, this is the extent of the game. While the game is fun for a few minutes, extended play is pretty boring. The AI controlled racers are awfully inept, often running into walls or going the wrong way on the track. The high frame rates keep the scenery on the track pretty and cute, but becomes somewhat repetitive after running a track a few times.
Outside of the cutesy children's gaming market, this game didn't sell very well. The simultaneous release of Hydro Thunder made this game pretty irrelevant as far as racing games. While definitely not manufactured anymore, any pre-owned section of your local video game dealer should have one floating around.
Penguin - Sparky
Shark - Jaw
Hippo - Ballery
Bird - Tina
Walrus - Back
Octopus - Sneak
Dog - Mr. Bow
Monkey - Hanamizu (hidden)