App Junkie is a regular feature where Brihanna Watson, self-confessed app junkie, takes a look at an app that has got her attention. She will dissect the app in her own style, but still keep to the rigorous testing policy of the site. If you are indeed an ‘app junkie’, and find yourself spending an inordinate amount of cash on apps that you never touch more than a couple of times, then Brihanna could save you a lot of pain and money by seeing if those apps that look like sparkling little gems in their App Store descriptions are really as tempting as they appear. Today: Whale Trail
It seems that the best formula to becoming an iTunes Game of the Week is to give app junkies what they want, and what they want seems to be the combination of simplicity meets fantasy. Take Angry Birds for instance. A basic app with just a slingshot and targets seems rather boring. But add the bizarre story of birds who slingshot themselves toward little green piggies, and you’ve got yourself a hit! One such Game of the Week has capitalized on this exact formula, and it is paying off!
Whale Trail is a delightfully fun runner app that hits all the marks when it comes to giving an app junkie their fix. It begins with the colorful tale of Willow the Whale who must escape the evil Baron Von Barry by flying high above the clouds following a magical rainbow trail. Collect the rainbow Blubbles for fuel, and avoid the treacherous grey clouds known as the Thunder Bros. Cross one of their paths and you are sure to be electrocuted, falling to your death! Game play is easy to learn, though there is a tutorial at the beginning that will introduce you to Willow’s story and teach you how to play. Or if you’d rather dive right in you can skip the tutorial all together.
To keep Willow the Whale afloat just press and hold anywhere on the screen to swoop him upwards. Release your finger and Willow will begin to dive downward. If you hold long enough you will even get the little whale to do a loop the loop, which comes in handy when you need to collect those hard to reach Blubbles. Continue to collect the Blubbles to fuel your journey and rack up multipliers to your score. There are also happy rainbow stars to collect that will enable a Frenzy mode for a limited time, causing Willow to speed up and demolish all Thunder Bros in his path. The trick is to build up that multiplier so when Frenzy mode kicks in, the points for Thunder Bros destruction are huge! Stay competitive by challenging your friends on the leaderboards and unlocking 43 Game Center achievements.
ustwo developers have done a masterful job keeping the graphics simple yet beautiful to look at. The overall feeling of the app is pure happiness and it’s a definite mood booster. What completes this effect is the super bubbly Whale Trail soundtrack by Gruff Rhys of ‘Super Furry Animals’. Even once I have left the app I am left singing the catchy tune and sometimes going back for another play just to hear it again! It’s the cherry on top of this fantasy layered sundae, and it’s completely delicious!
Whale Trail is a psychedelic trip you just can’t pass up. It’s a bargain at just $0.99 cents in the app store and is universal for iPhone and iPad. With the promise of new levels coming soon, there’s just no reason to pass this one up.