Whipseey And The Lost Atlas | Review

Whipseey And The Lost Atlas | Review

"By the Book, not by the Numbers. A playable essay of good Game Design."

Whipseey is Beautiful, and Minimalist, and Never stops Teaching. Not a single room of Whipseey is without clear and apparent purpose. Not a single hazard exists within that does not serve an essential purpose. Every enemy sits where it should, every spike sits in place, enemy types are carefully constructed and tuned according to both environment and intended educational purpose.
The keyword here is Purpose.

Purpose and Intent with Whipseey are brilliantly transparent. It very painstakingly follows and pays tribute to the Big Book of Game Design. Whipseey is by the Book. Not by the Numbers. A playable essay of good Game Design.

Of course, there is more to it, but I feel like Precise design and Gameplay is a rather apt description of the game in general. Thankfully, accompanying visuals and music are very cute and bright in tone. Foes look so sweet and innocent, you’d be forgiven for forgetting them to be enemies. My favorite visuals are always looking at enemies after they have been flipped over by jumping on them. Little legs kicking helplessly in the air, it’s adorable. 

As Whipseey sits, it’s well worth six dollars. Two things I hope to see added that would greatly improve the experience are a Score system and a Boss Rush mode. The game definitely has extra appeal to Completionists and Perfectionists like me. 

If you think about Game Design a lot like me, this game could teach you a great deal. When I said this game never stops teaching, it doesn’t just teach the player as a player, but also as a designer. The level designs cover all the key aspects of proper design note for note. they prepare you earlier in each level for what is coming later in the level and set up many moments wherein the player will inevitably learn something if they are paying any attention. A cautious and well thought out escalation of complexity and gameplay concepts permeates every level and boss encounter. This game is lean, nothing has gone to waste.

Enemies in Whipseey are generally cute. Well, actually they are universally so. But as you will see from some of these photos, their placements serve a teaching purpose, or to escalate tension behind an otherwise simple task. Or in the Castle stage, Ax-tually a reference to a certain classic game franchise.

One of my favorites, yet simple enemies are the ones with two knobby Antennae like ears. They make electrical fields off and on and can be seen hanging out on a pair of small platforms, just to make life difficult.

My favorite is the Flying Squirrel sort seen in the forest level. They’re simple little airborne enemies, appropriate for world 2 of 5. But so adorable!!!

Being more practical, two of the enemy types shown here exist almost entirely to teach something. First, we have the Helicopter Hat feller, flying around in the middle of a tricky jump. Initially, I assumed I couldn’t jump on him, but you very well can, and it is required to proceed. This guarantees that you know that jumping on enemies can be used to gain height and distance with your jumps.

The next appears I think only once in a pack of three. The red hopping Caterpillar type critters. When striking these, their angle of attack all but guarantees you will notice how your whip strikes in an Overhand manner, giving you some decent coverage against threats coming in from above, or critically for a certain boss fight, some extra reach against a tall and perhaps pointy foe.

Note the aquatic hall of spikes, this is actually important for practicing underwater movement, with some enemies thrown in to say HEY, YA GOTTA FIGHT UNDERWATER SOMETIMES. Which of course is exactly the case in Whipseey’s first Boss Battle. 

Do you know what sits beyond the spiky underwater halls? Well, I guess you already do because of this photo. I’ll just go get a coffee then. 

Thank you for reading feel free to comment below. Follow me on Twitter and we can talk about gaming. You can also read about #Project181 here and donate to help raise money for Gamers Outreach. Join us in helping kids in hospitals getting to game.

Robert Kelly Ball

[Editors Note: Wade Lawson is a content contributor for 181GAMING. If you would like to have your content published on 181GAMING, click here. We are always looking for content creators and community moderators.]

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