Mar 11, 2024 3 min read

Penny's Big Breakaway: Review and Best Settings for Steam Deck

How does this fresh new 3D platformer perform on the Steam Deck? The big takeaway is that it runs like a dream.

Penny's Big Breakaway on Steam Dec

How does this fresh new 3D platformer perform on the Steam Deck? The big takeaway is that it runs like a dream.

Platformers have come a long way. To this day, maybe more than any other genre, they enjoy massive popularity. There's a solid reason why every new entry of the Super Mario series sells like hot cakes, and older IP's like Ratchet & Clank return to much excitement.

The success of such 3D platformers depends crucially on nailing a captivating combo-driven gameplay loop, along with interestingly designed worlds, and optimised tech. Nintendo's efforts always succeed at getting this balance just right, but others often fall short. So, what about this new effort from budding developer Evening Star?

Well, new 3D platformer Penny's Big Breakaway has got all of these aforementioned must haves, marking a truly impressive first release for the indie developer.

Naturally, the adventures of Penny and Yo-Yo should feel right at home on a handheld like the Steam Deck — right?

A perfect fit for the Steam Deck, with a catch

Unsurprisingly, Penny's Big Breakaway runs amazingly well on a Steam Deck, whether an LCD or OLED model. The loading times are fast, and there are no issues with odd back-from-sleep quirks after putting the console into standby.

In short, it's a perfect example of a worthy Deck-verified badge.Without any adjustments, both 60 and 90 frames per second are reliably achievable, and that's without draining your Steam Deck's battery rapidly!

This performance win is just as well, as there aren't many options to tweak the performance anyway. Aside from Draw Distance, which might be the only one with real impact, you have access to Window Size, V-Sync, Triple Buffering, and Target Framerate.

Unfortunately, the Draw Distance slider doesn't alter the game's seemingly blurry look of distant objects and environments. This appears to be both an artistic choice and a method for the in-house tech to manage asset loading. But that's really the only gripe I have with the otherwise great, fresh visuals.

There are only rare single-digit dips during traversal and when a horde of penguins, the Emperor's henchmen, break through walls to catch Penny — but apart from that, it's a near-flawless experience.

There's a small catch on the OLED Steam Deck, however — running on Default settings at 90Hz results in some odd animation slowdowns and audio delay.

To avoid this, head into the game's settings and set the Target Framerate to 90 FPS, or the framerate you're aiming for on your OLED Deck. While this should fix the inconsistencies entirely, the developers seem aware of this issue and I suspect a fix is already on its way.

Best Settings for Penny's Big Breakaway on Steam Deck

Penny's Big Breakaway is an unexpected and well-crafted surprise that's a joy to play. To conclude this brief tech review of the marvellous, kinetic platformer, here are the best settings to enjoy the game on your Steam Deck and Steam Deck OLED.

You can expect a battery life of up to around 5 hours when limiting the TDP accordingly.

In-Game Settings
Resolution 1280x800
Draw Distance 100%
V-Sync Off
Triple Buffering Off
Target Frame Rate 60/90
Anti-Aliasing On
Quick Action Menu
Use per-game profile On
Frame Limit LCD Model 60 FPS
Frame Limit OLED Model 90 FPS

As you can see, there isn't really much to adjust, as the game's in-house engine is incredibly optimized. I assume the developers certainly had their hands on a Steam Deck during the development of Penny's Big Breakaway.

Penny's Big Breakaway on Steam Deck
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