Want to watch the prettiest mobile game teaser you’ve ever seen? Then watch the teaser for Monument Valley from Ustwo Games below. This beautiful game from the creators of Whale Trail and Blip Blup, shows off a Fez-esque aesthetic that promises to be mind-bending. Just what the game exactly will be is yet to be seen, but it’s promised to come to the iPad and “other mobile devices” “soon” so hopefully we’ll be getting to go hands-on with this one sooner than later. The game’s official site has links to a development blog and to request beta access.
What are you doing? Watch the teaser below! Quit dawdling!
There was the controversy recently when Dead Trigger went from $0.99 to free, but a lot of the anger was contained by the fact that the game never really changed â€“ it was always about IAP as a second currency. Not so much with Whale Trail â€“ it has made the shift to a free-to-play game, adding in upgrades, costumes, and a currency called krill to help fund the title.
On iOS, the main game shifted to free-to-play, and some anger was had by players who didn’t like to see a game shift from being a simple $0.99 experience to one that was free with IAP, even if the game did give previous players 8000 krill to try and tide them over.
However, on Android, ustwo has gone a different route, leaving the original Whale Trail up as Whale Trail Classic, and selling Whale Trail Frenzy now, which is the free-to-play version. Of course, no one can be happy: there’s a customer review on Frenzy suggesting that they should have just updated the original app.
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.