It seems to be that no matter how often the Club Penguin universe changes, sled racing always sticks around. Sled racing in Club Penguin history has evolved and jumped to different platforms.
Sled Racing: The First to Start it All
No Club Penguin player should ever forget Flash Club Penguin’s classic multiplayer mini-game, that was, Sled Racing. It came all the way from beta testing in 2005 and became the fundamental experience of classic Club Penguin for over 11 years, before the Flash-based game closed. And those old blue penguins clapping endlessly for all the finishers (until Flash CP shut down) will always be remembered. The gameplay was super simple, just use the arrow keys to move to the left or right in order to avoid obstacles which are all obvious, and speed up using ice patches. This sled game was the standard in Club Penguin culture and still is, even if we cannot play it anymore. It has paved the way for new sled racing experiences in the future, which we will explore up next.
Test Run: Sled Racing’s EPIC Extension
Thought Sled Racing was too easy? Then try out Test Run, which literally tested your ability to sled. This was a fun part of Mission 2 of the Penguin Secret Agency, released in 2006. You used the mouse to control your maneuvers to the left and the right. Extra obstacles attempted to knock you off the sled. On top of that, the obstacles appeared much quicker than in the multiplayer mini-game that the CP team based this fun, little game from. So, you had to react much quicker. If you hit enough obstacles, you will crash right there and then where you last hit one. Even if you are a pro at this game, you will eventually crash at the end. I remember entering PSA Mission 2 just to play this game. Sometimes, I made it to the end and sometimes I didn’t. Test Run was a second-person player game (I think), which means you controlled your sled as if you got caught in all the action right behind your sled, rather than from a bird’s eye view from Sled Racing. This made the Test Run gameplay exciting, fast-paced, and full of thrills!
Sled and Slide: the Overlooked Sledding Game
Both of these images came from Club Penguin’s commercial for their Game Day video game for the Nintendo Wii. In the first image, who do you think is more determined to win, the kid on the left or the right? Or maybe the question should be who is the better actor for the commercial?
When Club Penguin players talk about mini-games, I believe that those from the Game Day video game are often overlooked. Sled and Slide is a mini-game from the Game Day Nintendo Wii video game, released in 2010, that allowed players to have the only bobsledding experience that Club Penguin had ever offered. The gameplay involves moving the Wii remote to the left or right to move in the direction where you want to go in the bobsled. It is definitely different from other sledding games. First, this is an exclusive for the Nintendo Wii. Second, this is a teamwork-based game. Your team members participate in your bobsled race. Everybody should do a good job in order to achieve the fastest time. Third, at the start of the race, you have to run with the bobsled by furiously shaking the Wii remote to get it going before you could hop in and start steering. Fourth, the obstacles includes things like large snowmen and ice sheets. Fifth, you have very long tunnels to ride through. There are more differences, but I think I have covered the majority. It is a challenging game that provided Club Penguin fans a different type of sledding experience.
Sled Racer: More Than Just a Jump to Mobile
Let’s fast forward to the era of Club Penguin history in which the great emphasis on the mobile platform was beginning. Sled Racer was an app all on its own, launched in 2014 for iOS and 2015 for Android. It was still a part of the Club Penguin universe, but could not be played in the Flash version of Club Penguin nor the Club Penguin app. Sled Racer maximized the potential of sled racing. Simple sleds and downhill slopes were not enough. You had to deal with avoiding sabertoothed Fluffy fish, cacti, and other crazy obstacles. Logs just did not cut it. The game had no end, so you could go as far as you could before you crashed into something. It was a second-person game like Test Run. What made this game very special from other Club Penguin games was that although you could not ride alongside other players, there were public leaderboards showing players’ best scores. You could even earn the Golden Goggles for being at the top of the Friends’ Leaderboard. You could wear this special item on your penguin in the Club Penguin game and show off just what an amazing sled racer you were. The gameplay, in my opinion, was superior. The controls were simple and easy to use. You also had exciting and absurd power-ups (just for the members) that could help you on your danger-filled and thrilling sled race. It was one of Club Penguin’s several apps that they stopped developing due to Club Penguin Island.
Club Penguin Island’s Response to Sled Games
After classic Club Penguin closed its doors earlier this year, so did the old Sled Racing game that was more than a decade old. No fear! Your thrills down the mountain slopes as a Club Penguin player did not leap off the cliff into extinction. The latest Club Penguin Island update brought the sled racing experience back, here in 2017. I don’t know if there is an official name for it, but the sign in the game placed before the sled racing says “Tube Races” so I’m just gonna call it that. I’m sorry, but I am not a fan of the gameplay part of Tube Races. Here is my opinion and explanation from my Mt. Blizzard review:
The tubing game is only okay, in my opinion. This is because the controls are not as friendly as they could be. Think of the old Sled Racer app’s controls. They had left and right arrows to steer. You have a trackpad on CPI, which makes it harder to control the tube. That being said, I never was cut out for mobile platform gaming. I would love to play this tubing game on a computer (oh, how I miss you, arrow keys) or even a gaming controller. Still, it is a very fun game and a fantastic way to spend time on the island and make friends. The tubing competition could get hot for such a cold place. 😉
The best parts of Tube Races are the multiplayer experience and ease of access. You can play with as many players as you want and enter the game smoothly and quickly. Gameplay is only acceptable; partly due to reasons that I stated above from my Mt. Blizzard review and that there are not any obstacles that actually slow your speed down very much. You depend on maneuvering quickly through turns. There could be more strategies, but I’m not aware of any others, at this point. But what makes this game stand out from any of Club Penguin’s other sled racing games is the fact that you can wear all your clothes while you are playing. And that’s seriously awesome! Riding with style. You also have an assortment of tubes to ride. They are all the same speed, but they have a different personality and appearance for each one.
Sled racing has come a very long way. Starting from a humble, little, Flash game called Sled Racing from Club Penguin’s beta party, and now to the Unity 3D, fast-paced, and quite different Tube Races of Club Penguin Island, sled racing has undergone changes for Club Penguin players throughout the years. This Club Penguin activity has kept up with the times and let the fans have constant fun, whether it be on a computer, a mobile device, or even a Nintendo console. Despite the evolutionary changes to sled racing, what has remained is competitive fun and challenges for players (oh, and snow and tubes/sleds. Can’t have sled races without them.)
What is your favorite Club Penguin sled race game? Will there be new ones in the future?
I have an idea for a belly slide sort of game. Penguins in real life are known for belly sliding, but Club Penguin has not made this action evident for its penguins. What if there were to be a belly slide game someday?