No animals were harmed in the making of this game...
The "Yeti Sports" game series has become very popular since the beginning of 2004 thanks to the very funny, almost grotesque, adaptation of some Olympic games such as "disc throw" and "hammer throw" where discs and hammers were replaced by Pingus. ( = adorable and innocent penguins, someone should inform the w.w.f. !)
Edelweiss Medienwerkst has done a nice job with their Yeti games, making them available also for mobile and standalone games on a PC cd-rom. And if this wouldn't be enough there's even an audio CD with really crazy "Yeti songs" !
Chapter one: PINGU THROW
In the first chapter our Yeti is equipped with a polar baseball bat and he will have to throw the poor Pingus as far as possible by hitting them as they jump from the top of a small iceberg. The game works like a "baseball meets disc throw" where the main difficulty is finding the right time to hit the Pingu in order to make it fly high enough so that it lands flat and continues its run by sliding and bouncing on the ice.
To complete this sadistic penguin torture a sign with your throw distance will fall from the sky transfixing the poor Pingu.
Chapter two: ORCA SLAP
The second chapter is one of my favourites and I have to admit that it made me waste a lot of work time :-).
This time the unfortunate Pingus are going to be used as darts and slapped on a round target.
This is how it works: an orca lying on the ice surface will throw the penguing in the air with its tail and you will have to hit the Pingus, while they are flying, with a snowball. Pool !
It takes a little time to coordinate your throw but this is also the fun part and after a number of trials and errors you'll figure out how to slap the pingus near the middle of the target.
Chapter 3: SEAL BOUNCE
I found the third chapter a little more frustrating and less fun than the others.
In the third episode the Yeti is involved in a "hammer throw" like game in which you will try to catapult the pingus as high as possibile.
In order to score you will have to find the right moment to release the pingu so that it will bounce on the ice walls and on the seals that inhabit the iceberg. This way the pingus will be pushed higher and give you better score. If you will be lucky and hit many seals you'll bounce back and forth and increase also the "Total Movement" indicator.
Chapter 4: ALBATROsS OVERLOAD
In this new episode the Yeti has left his natural environment and has moved to a warmer place, Australia.
In fact the 4th. sport specialty takes place on a sunny beach with kangaroos and albatrosses. The latter will help the Yeti transport the pingus as far as possible. Once you have thrown the pingu to an albatross you will control it by flapping its wings and trying to cover the maximum distance while keeping an eye to the power meter: every wing flap will decrease it and you will only be able to regain some energies between on flap and the next.
The "Yeti Sports" series is a very good example of what "web games" are about: simple and immediate gameplay, rich graphics, the right amount of addictiveness and a good sense of humor (the latter is not a requirement but it helps succeeding)
Most of the graphics in the games are 3d rendered and they all look very good, especially the water effect and the character animation shoud be mentioned for their high quality.
"Skill based" games like these may not satisfy players that are looking for a deeper level of gameplay, however you will often find yourself getting back to these games trying to beat your friend's best score.