Penny’s Big Breakaway is a colorful platformer from former devs of the best Sonic game in years

Penny’s Big Breakaway, an upcoming 3D platformer from several developers behind 2017’s well-received Sonic Mania, is set to release in early 2024. We got another glimpse of the game in action, as well as several of its main characters, in a new trailer shown during the PC Gaming Show: Most Wanted.

It looks like Penny’s Big Breakaway will be taking more than a few notes from classic mascot platformers, casting you in the colorful pantaloons of the titular character to rollick around colorful worlds for collectibles. But its main draw is Penny’s semi-sentient yo-yo, which can be used as a weapon, swing rope, vehicle, or makeshift helicopter.

You’ll mainly be using that yo-yo to evade a small army of penguins that’s been sent your way by big boss man Emperor Eddie. Apparently he wasn’t best pleased with Penny’s audition for Palace Court Performer, and has ordered his flightless goons after you. You’re left to clear Penny’s name while untangling the mystery of what turned your ordinary yo-yo into a voracious snack-eating creature.

The other characters you’ll encounter, and surely square-off against in gated arenas, are a fittingly goofy bunch: the fanged Sailor Sheila, flying Mr Q, puppeteering Taboo Artist, and gavel-wielding Judge Rufus.

Penny’s Big Breakaway has already gained a bit of excitement thanks to its development team. Evening Star is a new studio formed by several members who previously worked on Sonic Mania, one of the best-received Sonic games in years.

In his review of Sonic Mania, Andy Kelly said the game “feeds off nostalgia, but crucially, it isn’t owned by it. The developers have taken the best bits of the vintage Sonic games and created something that’s more than just a cynical throwback. It’s a game that fizzes with colour, passion, and personality, and it’s clear it was made by people who really love the series.”

If the developers can bring that same deft handling to Penny’s Big Breakaway, we could be in for a real 3D platforming treat when it launches in early 2024.

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