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Tux will be able to make use of smooth terrain by using the slide action. By using the slider action Tux will jump on its belly and thus slide speedy down the hill. Terrain that is formed like a ramp should allow him to make huge jumps, which would be impossible without the slide action. While sliding downhill Tux shall be invulnerable by normal enemies, however special enemies with spikes or so, might still be able to stop him.

Exact details on how the sliding will work have to be worked out, but it might get a rather central role in gameplay.



Somewhat related, you could have icy platforms that when running on it is much harder to stop/change-direction (i.e. you could slide off the edge accidently) that require you to be extra careful.. these could appear on later harder levels. If these aren't flat, you get what is shown in the above picture, which you could slide down instead.

We'd probably need tile-based friction to make this work well. Holding "duck" while moving above a certain speed (or on a slope) will reduce Tux's friction by a large factor (4?) and make him slide as illustrated in the above picture. He'll be able to kill/stun certain enemies this way, but some (like the spiky ones) will damage and stop him.