Whipseey and the Lost Atlas Review – Switch

The colourful retro style platformer Whipseey and the Lost Atlas wears its inspirations proudly on its sleeve and uses it’s Kirby-esque art style to deliver some rather tough but fair platforming challenges.  
After discovering a magical book, a young boy is whisked away to a magical land and transformed into the titular character Whipseey. As Whipseey, you have to use your whip to defeat enemies and navigate colourful levels.  

Inspired by Kirby, Whipseey sets itself apart by focusing more on tricky platforming

The art style of Whipseey is its biggest selling point with 5 levels full of colour with charming enemies and boss battles. The presentation (clearly inspired by the Kirby franchise), really helps the game stand out in an indie market that tends to skew far too retro and a diverse line up of enemies really flesh out the levels. 
At the end of every level is a unique boss battle which, like the stages and enemies are beautifully presented and inventive. In level 3 a large cactus wearing boxing gloves swings punches and after he takes too much damage, he adds a flying pillar into his repertoire of attacks that can instantly kill you if your mastery of Whipseey’s platforming is not quite up to par. Like this, all the other levels are filled with creative boss battles that have simple patterns that increase in intensity after they take a certain amount of damage. Although most of the boss battles are a bit too simplistic and easy for their own good, I found that this didn’t detract from their overall charm and my enjoyment in tackling them.  

Creative boss battles with learn able patterns are a fun inclusion.

The biggest thing separating Whipseey from Kirby is its reliance on stricter and harsher platforming challenges. Whereas Kirby and even other 2D platformers such as Freedom Planet or Shovel Knight have strict platforming challenges, they don’t tend to set you up to fail as much as Whipseey does. Instant death pits and instant death spikes are placed rather frequently throughout each of the 5 levels and unfortunately, this was probably the least enjoyable part of the game for me.  

Whipseey’s movement controls are very limited, especially when compared to its inspirations. You can move, jump, slow your descent and whip. The whip only attacks horizontally and so you’re completely at the mercy of enemies above or at angles other than directly in front of you. On the most part this is fine, however there are some parts of level 3 that places enemies on ledges you have to jump onto with no safe way to attack the enemy before jumping so you have to master the timing of Whipseey’s jumping, momentum and attacking otherwise you’ll end up falling into an instant death pit.  

Sometimes enemy placement can be a real pain and make the platforming more frustrating than it has to be.

On the most part though these frustrating moments are few and far between, however, Whipseey isn’t a long game at all and even though the examples of frustrating level design and enemy placement are rare, in a game with a smaller level count to start this ends up constituting a sizeable portion of the game’s entirety.  

With only 5 levels in the game and each one taking around 8-10 minutes to complete, Whipseey is unfortunately a short game considering how charming it is and how it blends cute visuals whilst hiding challenging platforming gameplay and had me wanting more by the end. Hopefully, down the line Blowfish studios can build on this in future with extra content or even some form of boss rush or challenge mode. 

The 5 stages are all unique and varied however they aren’t particularly long.

Whipseey and the Lost Atlas is a charming platformer with some real challenge, with great visuals and enemy designs ranging from cute to inspired. However, the overall short length and the level of challenge at times can make the game feel like it needs just a bit more time to be fine-tuned by Blowfish Studios and it’s developer.

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