Penny’s Big Breakaway

Review: Penny’s Big Breakaway

— Runaway

Evening Star, the team behind Penny’s Big Breakaway, is also the same team that worked on the beloved Sonic Mania. Throughout my playthrough of the studio’s first title, I kept that in mind because Mania reinvigorated my love for what a Sonic the Hedgehog game could be.

Penny’s Big Breakaway is a platformer that pays tribute to the early days of 3D mascot platformers. Penny’s Big Breakaway is reminiscent of these games and has a stylized style that I find super charming. It is paired with a colourful world.

Penny’s Big Breakaway Is An Homage

You play and follow Penny, an aspiring yo-yo performer who enters a talent show audition organized by Emperor Eddie. During her performance, her toy prop fuses with the Cosmic String, making it a conscious and voracious pet that grants her unique abilities. However, the creature also causes trouble at the talent show, leading to Penny’s escape from the Emperor’s army of penguin goons.

Penny’s Big Breakaway has colourful worlds, catchy music, funny characters, and even some challenges, so if you think this is an easy game, you’ll be happy to know it isn’t. Every world has new and exciting gimmicks that mostly add fun wrinkles to what you’ll do to get Penny to the goals at each level.


Each level is wonderfully designed to match, and the aesthetic is easily highlighted. Worlds constantly throw new mechanics at you, yet it is manageable, if not a lot of fun, figuring them out on the fly. I found myself thoroughly enjoying my time with each level and getting the most out of the experience, and it helps that the soundtrack comes from Tee Lopes.

As much as I found the level design ideally suited to the gameplay, it can sometimes lead to some issues. The whole idea in Penny’s Big Breakaway is that you need to be moving constantly, which feels at odds with how I usually like to play games. Each level is a race to the finish with a score counting your progression, and it’s shown with Penny’s acrobatic moveset, which encourages you always to be moving. Levels are designed to showcase these moves, and you can even rack combos like you’re playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.


Penny’s on her own as she runs from the Emperor and his penguins, who are now on your back and follow you everywhere you go. The penguins will not damage Penny, but they do swarm her. of penguins that try to capture them. These penguins do not cause any damage but slow down the player and can capture them if too many cling on at once. Although the player can fling them off in small doses, it’s easy to get overwhelmed if too many penguins swarm at once. The penguins are not present throughout the stages but are strategically placed to keep players on their toes and encourage them to pick up the pace. This design choice is a clever gameplay mechanic that adds an extra layer of challenge to the game, making it a unique and exciting experience.


Using her yo-yo in various ways, the child’s toy has a few tricks worth using offensively and defensively. The right stick is dedicated to using your primary tool, allowing you to throw out the yo-yo in any direction to interact with objects or even break them. Later, the same toy will enable Penny to grapple through platforming sections to send her moving forward via an air dash.




Penny’s Big Breakway is a faithful homage to a simpler time in the industry. As a 3D platformer, it excels at showcasing why the genre is timeless. With that in mind, as great as the moment-to-moment movements feel, there is a bit of a disconnect if you’re someone who enjoys taking their time, as you’re often scored on how fast you progress through a level.  Overall, there is a beautiful vibrancy to Penny’s Big Breakaway that I find so endearing, and it’s hard not to like this game.


[The publisher provided a copy of the game for review purposes.]

Reviewed on: PC

Penny’s Big Breakaway
Review: Penny’s Big Breakaway
Penny's Big Breakway is a faithful homage to a simpler time in the industry. As a 3D platformer, it excels at showcasing why the genre is timeless.
Fun and engaging level design
Fun mechanic with how Penguins chase Penny
Great visual style that is reminiscent of a simpler time
Didn't Like
Story is barebones