Whipseey and the Lost Atlas is a retro inspired platformer reminiscent of the classic 8-bit 2d games of the early 1990’s. The story line is of a boy who becomes lost in a magical world when he transforms into “Whipseey” and must battle enemies, strategically manoeuvring through 5 imaginatively themed lands in order to get back home. With exciting and upbeat music throughout and a boss battle to conclude each level, it will undoubtedly evoke nostalgic memories of childhood gaming.
Whilst collecting gems dropped by defeated enemies and avoiding fireballs, lava, water, falling objects, and navigating obstacles from every direction, there is certainly a sense of accomplishment when each area is completed as there are no save points mid-level to rely upon. This does give the player the opportunity to improve their approach but it may lead to frustration for some as the beginning of each level is somewhat tedious to replay.
The game appears to increase in difficulty, slowly introducing the player to enemies in their earlier forms which then go on to evolve, occasionally shooting weapons or leaping towards Whipseey. The boss battles also have two levels of difficulty, starting with a repeated attack which then intensifies after a certain amount of damage is caused. Unlike the enemies, Whipseey doesn’t learn any new skills or unlock anything as the game progresses.
Each level is unique and skilfully produced helping the player feel immersed in the game, and apart from the odd glitchy sound effect and the occasional trapped enemy it was a satisfying game to finish. The soundtrack was enjoyable and reflected the theme of the experience exceptionally well, developing as the levels progressed and not looping so frequently that it became irritating.
Unfortunately, I found that the story line wasn’t particularly clear, because the introduction and conclusion were extremely quick and easy to miss which was a little disappointing upon completion. There also isn’t any incentive to replay it. Perhaps the game could have been broken down into shorter levels within each themed zone increasing in length and difficulty, or with Whipseey learning new abilities, enabling the player to enter new areas which were previously inaccessible. Even adding a difficulty option would make it more exciting and enable younger family members to enjoy it too.
It is clear that an enormous amount of effort has gone into the creation of Whipseey and the Lost Atlas, but the very basic menu, absence of save points and lack of character development could be seen as a slight weakness compared to similar games within this genre. But for those who enjoy playing something that requires careful timing and accuracy to complete, I would almost certainly recommend giving this game a go, especially given the very reasonable price point, for an evening or two of light-hearted entertainment.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.