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First assembly platformer game


Bill Nagel URL

Release Date

June 27, 1997





Penguins is a side-scrolling platform game written in assembly, featuring a variety of characters and smooth-scrolling levels, and was programmed by Bill Nagel for the TI-83. It was one of the first assembly games released for the TI-83, along with Turbo Breakout also by Bill Nagel and Spaze Invaders by Hannes Edfeldt.

The storyline for the game involves you playing the hero, Pete the Pimpin' Penguin, and you are on a mission to defeat the evil Puffy Penguin and rescue Penny the Princess Penguin.

NOTE: The game is extremely hard and is meant to be a challenge, so you will get frustrated playing it (especially since you can't kill the enemies).


Not only was Penguins one of the earlier released assembly games, but it was the first scrolling platform game. It also included a Level Editor that could be used on the calculator to design new level packs, starting the trend of releasing level editors with games.

An interesting point is that the levels are designed in reverse difficulty order, ie. they start off harder and get slightly easier through to the final level. As noted in the readme file:

Each world has five levels, after the fifth you must battle
Puffy the Penguin. In PNG (the world that comes with Penguins),
the first level is the hardest and the last level is the easiest.
YOU WILL GET FRUSTRATED WITH THIS GAME, when you through your calc up
against the wall, I'm not responsible for any damages!
REMEMBER - HAVE PATIENCE! With time great skill can come, I have been
able to complete this game with one life.

Penguins are peaceful animals, thefore the only enemy you can kill in
this game is Puffy Penguin himself.

There have been many level packs released by third parties — on there is a folder dedicated to Penguins level packs.


Taken from the TI-83 readme file:

[2nd] - jump
- swim upwards when in water
Right/Left - move Pete
[MODE] - pause
[CLEAR] - quit

Title Screen:
[2nd] - start game
[ALPHA] - load a different world
- Penguins comes with one world, ZPWLDPNG, which is displayed on the title screen as "PNG"
- Editor can be used to make your own world!
- But to use the editor you need a password, and the only way to get the password is to beat the game!

Development History

  • A chronological overview of the product's development

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