Day 368: Whakman

Posted: 2011/11/13 in Indie Games

Whakman is a bit like a cross between a traditional 2D platformer, and classic ’80s computer game Wizball (as particularly made famous on the Commodore 64. The game is strange at first, but as you get a handle on the controls you realise that they’re surprisingly competent and elegant, allowing for a very “flowy” feel to the levels. Gameplay has you jumping, avoiding, collecting, and all the other things you either love (or love to hate) about platformers, but instead of running and jumping you’re bouncing, rolling, and jumping. This changes the game more than you might think, allowing you to create curved jumps that can get around obstacles, cross large gaps without feeling completely out of control, and more. And why double-jump when you can instead bounce in place to build up kinectic energy? It’s a neat gimmick that works well. Some may quibble with the 240 Microsoft Point price, but I would encourage people to not compare it to other indie games and rather compare it to Xbox Live Arcade games, where a game of this quality at this price would be a steal.

For reference, here’s a video of Wizball:

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