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January 17, 2012

App Review – Whale Trail (ustwo) iPhone / iPad £0.69

by Colin Jones

When I first got my iPhone some 3 years ago, most of the apps that I would download would be games. However as productivity apps (especially those of the photo-editing variety) became more popular, I found myself preferring to kill the odd hour here and there, doing something more constructive than killing aliens or jumping on enemies.

As the App Store has developed, iOS games have become more sophisticated, almost console like, but for me they had lost the most important thing, simple pick-up and playability. Sure I have tried titles such as GTA Chinatown Wars and Infinity Blade on my iPhone and iPad, but for me they weren’t much fun. I guess for real in-depth, intricate games, I will always prefer the physical buttons of a dedicated console, as tapping for hours on a glass-screen is not very enjoyable.

It is to my surprise then, that over the last month, I have become hopelessly addicted to an iOS game, that goes under the name of Whale Trail.

Whale Trail follows in the tradition of great pick-up and play App Store classics such as Doodle Jump and Angry Birds. It’s illusory simplistic game-play makes you always want to ‘just have another go’ to try and beat your high-score without ever becoming too frustrating and annoying.

The aim of the game is to help Willow The Whale fly through a magical whimsical rainbow world, collecting bubbles and dodging Thunder Bros (clouds). Sounds easy enough, no? Not at all, don’t be fooled by the ease which you will go through the first world, harder challenges lie ahead, as you aim to guide willow through impossibly tight clusters of thunder clouds. However help is on hand, as if you can collect 7 Super-Mario-esque stars you explode into frenzy mode, giving you the abillity to smash into thunder clouds and rack up your score. Gameplay is wonderful and sucks you in because of it’s deceptive simplicity. The controls are no more than a tap on the screen to guide Willow, a long tap to perform a loop and this again adds to the game’s instant playability.

This amazing game is further enhanced by the magical soundtrack that accompanies it, performed by Gruff Rhys of ‘Super Furry Animals’ fame, and will have you constantly singing along to it.

I cannot recommend this game highly enough, go buy it!

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