2D Indie Platfomers are a dime a dozen on the Switch. The number of times I have been browsing my local E-shop and ended up tripping over a stray platformer, before landing face first into a completely unrelated platformer, is utterly uncountable at this point. Alas, here we are once more. Today I will be laying down divine judgement upon Whipseey and the Atlas. Does Whipseey do enough to stand out amongst the crowd, or does it just drown in mediocrity?
You play as a small boy called Drew. Magical shenanigans occur, resulting in Drew being sucked into a mystical vortex. During the unexpected interdimensional transportation, poor Drew is forcibly morphed into an amorphous blob somewhat reminiscent of a rampant Wigglytuff. It is down to you to run, jump and whip through a handful of levels and return to your humdrum Drew-ish life. Simple, to the point, and all the genre needs.
Unfortunately that simplicity is carried over to the gameplay. Whipseey is an incredibly ‘by the numbers’ experience with little, if any, significant mechanical innovations. Whipseey can run, jump, hover and unleash his inner ‘Belmont’ to bring righteous retribution. Every now and then, he can even latch his magical whip onto floating rings to swing over gaps to mix things up a little bit. But everything here has been seen before. This is made even worse by mediocre enemies, and uninteresting bosses. After the first level, Whipseey really struggled to keep my attention.
This would have been alieviated somewhat if the game executed its mechanics effectively, but it simply doesn’t. Controls are noticeably unresponsive, every hitbox feels janky, so I rarely felt like I was fully in control as a result. The game is painfully easy, whilst also having a disturbingly high number of cheap moments. Considering Whipseey is over in under an hour, it feels like the developers spliced in some nonsense to pad the length out a bit. You could probably blitz this game in 30 minutes had they not stuffed Whipseey’s bra.
Then we get to the graphics, which are undeniably eye catching, but heavily inspired by more popular games – namely Kirby. Whipseey, enemies and the games overall feel are clearly taken from HAL’s simarly amorpous Pink Puff. Had the game been compotent in its own right, this wouldn’t have been an issue – instead a charming homage. But when Whipseey is so run-of-the-mill and executed so poorly, it is hard to shake the feeling that the art direction was a ploy. A devious deception to get players interested in a game that honestly, doesn’t deserve any attention.
Whipseey and the Lost Atlas is not a good game. You can maybe stretch and call it average. It exists in a world where its genre is overflowing with significantly better, and longer, titles. Its attempts to stand out amongst them just come across like a cheap marketing trick and exacerbates the issue more than anything. I would maybe recommend this during a heavily discounted sale, otherwise it’s not worth your time or money.
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