Pongo – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, Action
Developer: Drixy Games
Publisher: Black Shell Media LLC
Platforms: PC (Steam)
Tested on: PC

Pongo – Review

Site Score
Good: Awesome retro-styled soundtrack, great concept
Bad: No narrative or challenging puzzles, mechanics overly used, color scheme never changing, rinse & repeat gameplay experience
User Score
(5 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.2/10 (5 votes cast)

Pongo is a 3D action platformer that combines a jumping mechanic with FPS combat in a paint-like world of islands. Developed by Drixy Games, Pongo allows us to travel the islands of Flubber with no other tool than your pogo stick, which can be used as either a pogo stick, or as a gun.

pongo banner


As a casual 3D action platformer, Pongo lacks a narrative that can back up the story of how you came to be on the islands of Flubber and why you are jumping from island to island to reach the ‘portal’. In fact, Pongo just lacks a narrative. Period.


The visuals of Pongo is a very distinct feature that you will either love or loathe. It’s both unique and enjoyable but also childish and unsophisticated at the same time. The paint-like graphics make the game feel unpolished although it does have its charms. Noteworthy is that the color-usage is quite monotonous throughout the levels, as the same colors are being used again, and again. Luckily the levels do change somewhat thanks to various shapes of islands and enemies but the general colors are never changing.


What isn’t lacking is a fantastic soundtrack. The sound design shares similarities with those funky, upbeat techno-like tunes from past retro-games. It’s a true joy to listen to it, although the “thuds” of the paintball-like bullet-hail do temper the awesomeness of the soundtrack.

pongo scr03


Pongo is a game that is easy to learn but hard to master. At first glance, there seemed to be a lack of tutorials. However, once you’ve entered the first level, you’ll immediately notice wooden signs scattered on the floating islands. These signs gradually explain the controls as you progress through the first few levels. Each level begins with the pogo stick already in hand but this is where the confusion begins. You’d think that, since you have a pogo stick, it would automatically bounce but nothing is less true.

The pogo stick is your only tool in this game as it can be used as either a pogo stick or as a gun, but never at the same time. You can perform a jump by pressing the spacebar. The longer you hold it, the higher you’ll jump. You could say that this acts like a power-jump. If you wish to keep bouncing on your pogo stick, you’ll need to press E and then perform a jump. Once an enemy is in line of sight, whether or not you are still mid-air, you can press ‘F’ to switch to the gun and then fire with the left-mouse button. The shooting animation, as well as the general view of shooting with a pogo stick, resembles much of a paintball skirmish. Additionally, you can run faster by holding down shift.

pongo scr01

The gameplay sounds incredibly easy and as I mentioned before, it is easy to learn but fairly hard to master. This is mostly due to the fact that the pogo stick does not automatically bounces, which leaves you with having to calculate how high you’ll need to jump in order to reach the islands. It’s easier said than done, honestly. More often than not, you’ll fall short by an inch, only to drop down into the water below you – eventually ‘respawning’ at the very beginning. There are no checkpoints which means the gameplay is a simple rinse & repeat, from start to finish, until you’ve reached the portal.

Other than being able to jump around on a pogo stick, the second main feature is the First Person Shooter combat. Enemies, varying in shape and size, tend to come out of nowhere – either on ground or in the air. While the change in enemies is great in a monotone gameplay experience, they are easy to get rid of and tend to become boring. Here and there, a new mechanic is introduced as part of the puzzle experience such as swirling blades and spikes but none of these add up to said puzzle experience. I don’t think we’re going out on a limb in claiming that the puzzles are also lacking.

pongo scr02

Scattered around the islands, mostly hidden on lone floating islands or behind boulders, are power-ups which will help you beat enemies and pass obstacles more easily. These power-ups can range from simply jumping higher to rapid fire to increased running speed. Each power-up lasts ten seconds which is only a short duration but as the levels are fairly short – once you manage to get through them – this isn’t necessarily a problem.


Pongo has plenty of potential once the lack of narrative and challenging puzzles is addressed. Throw in some great mechanics and an option to automatically bounce and you might even have a great casual game. Although the concept is truly great, the execution could have been better. Considering the monotonous visuals and gameplay experience, the game is also far too pricey for what it truly delivers but you might want to grab it on sale if you want to become the master of the pogo sticks.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.2/10 (5 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
Pongo - Review, 8.2 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

Hi! I'm Jess and I’m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

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