Whale Trail Review

Whale Trail Review

Jan 18, 2012

Whale Trail has succesfully taken the trail to Android. This is British developer ustwo’s take on the endless runner, as part of their experiment to see if premium games (i.e. games that sell for a set price) can still be viable, and it was developed at a high budget, with high sales expectations. While the game has sold well on iOS, it has only recouped a fraction of its budget. So, here we are: Whale Trail is on Android to help make back its budget and to try and prove that premium is still viable.

The game has players controlling Willow the Whale, who flies through the skies, trying to collect blubbles to stay airborne, while avoiding the clouds that drain the whale trail meter. Willow is controlled simply by tapping and holding on the screen to fly upward, eventually looping around. There are two game modes: an endless mode where the game keeps going until Willow falls, and a level-based challenge mode where the goal is to try and score as many points as possible before reaching the end, collecting stars to unlock more levels.

Whale Trail is still as beautiful as ever; the animations are fantastic, the backgrounds detailed, and everything just is extremely colorful. The controls work perfectly, as well. The endless mode’s multiplier dynamic, which rewards avoiding taking damage from the clouds, makes it unique, as it’s not just about trying to last as long as possible; it’s about performing well too. The challenge mode levels are just that – a challenge. They’re not inordinately difficult, but they do require practice, and skill at the game in order to do well.

The game was ported to Android in partnership with Jakyl, who have become known for their iOS to Android conversions. Like their other games, the port is very well-done; it’s actually feature-identical with the iOS version right now. Unlike their other games, however, there is no display stretching at all on widescreen devices, which makes the game really shine. It looks amazing on tablets, and is perfect for TV output gaming (though some tablets like the Xoom may cut off the top of the screen on the TV, but this just obscures the score) because of the one-touch controls.

Whale Trail was a blast when it was released on iOS, and the Android port is perfect. It’s identical to the iOS version, optimized for the Android devices; even Scoreloop is perfectly integrated in to the game in a way that few other Android games have done. It’s a fantastic package, and is a must-have on Android, just as it was on iOS.

Whale Trail Review Rundown

10
Graphics/Sound - Game is wonderfully detailed, beautifully animated, and extremely colorful. Looks fantastic on Android tablets, too.
9
Control - Simple and efficient: holding down on the screen flies upward and begins to loop around. Takes some practice to use and master, but otherwise simple.
9
Gameplay - The endless runner gameplay is forgiving yet still extremely challenging to pick up high scores and master the challenge levels.
10
Replay Value - Addictive and engrossing endless gameplay, challenge levels to help mix up the experience; what is there not to love?
9.5
Overall - An absolutely fantastic game, brought in an absolutely fantastic way to Android.

App available on the Google Play Store »

Carter Dotson
Carter Dotson, editor of Android Rundown, has been covering Android since late 2010, and the mobile industry as a whole since 2009. Originally from Texas, he has recently moved to Chicago. He loves both iOS and Android for what they are - we can all get along!
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