Posts Tagged Whale Trail

Whale Trail, ustwo’s stylish endless runner, is about to make another big PIVOT 180°™. The game is going to shift to a free to play model in the coming weeks. The game is going to be more akin to Jetpack Joyride or Temple Run than the pure score experience that it was previously. Now players earn an in-game currency called krill while playing, that can be spent on new costumes for Willow, along with powers and items for Willow to use, all in the name of higher scores. Of course, it will be possible to buy krill with in-app purchases as well.

For those who purchased the game in the past, and are potentially angry about that $0.99 game they bought shifting to free, well ustwo is hoping to soothe those fears by giving previous paid users a big bag of krill for their trouble. Just what I always wanted! Dr. Zoidberg should be excited too. ustwo are hoping that this update turns the game from a Succailure™ into a just plain success. The update is due to hit in the coming weeks.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-10-20 :: Category: Games

Part One: Games 16 – 25
In what was another fantastic year in the world of iOS apps & games, we are here to bring you the fifty titles that we, the staff of 148Apps, thought were the best of the year. Here are the gaming titles 6 – 15 in our Best Games of 2011:

15. Temple Run: There are typically two kinds of endless games: the horizontal endless runners, and the vertical endless jumpers. Well, here’s the third kind: running into the screen, moving left to right, making swift decisions to avoid obstacles or turn in the correct direction. The originality was well-appreciated, and the game is quite fun, to boot. With its shift to free to play, it also serves as one of the best examples of how to do this business model in a fair way.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-08-04 :: Category: Games

14. Scribblenauts Remix: When the first Scribblenauts game came out on the Nintendo DS in 2009, I immediately thought that with the need to type things in, and constant touchscreen usage, that it would work perfectly on the finger-friendly capacative touch screen of iOS devices. I am proud to report 2 years later that I was right. The puzzle platforming game where the items can be created from a vast dictionary of items, and modified with a series of adjectives, is as entertaining as ever, and is right at home on iOS.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-10-12 :: Category: Games

13. Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing – When Sega puts their full effort into a project, the quality really comes through. It’s a serviceable kart racer with the standard weapons and powerups available, with great controls and a useful turbo boost mechanic. That it’s on iOS gives it a lot of points where on other platforms it might just be another fun kart racer, but the fact is that this is a really good game, with top of the line features for iOS, even with a fun online multiplayer mode, which is something that is still always cool to check out on the platform. As well, the Sega fan service is part of the fun, too – racing through a Jet Set Radio series level while piloting a rocket piloted by a ChuChu from ChuChu Rocket feels more special than racing any Mario character at this point.

$3.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-06-23 :: Category: Games

12. Whale Trail: 2011 was a great year for endearing protagonists and endless runner games. Whale Trail was one of the true gems of the year, as it was a beautifully-designed game: the art was top-notch, the music composed by Gruff Rhys helped create a magical and whimsical world, and the gameplay was forgiving, but rewarded precision. The new challenge mode adds a new wrinkle to the game, as it provides short challenge levels that focus on skillful navigation of set levels, instead of randomly-generated endless levels.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-10-20 :: Category: Games

11. Super Crossfire – When I was helping to compile this list from 148Apps’ writers, one title kept recurring in the lists: this Chillingo-published shmup. It was one of my favorites as well; being able to flip sides in this Space Invaders-esque game that also boasts super attacks was an ingenious twist. The controls worked very well for a touch screen, the upgrade system was simple but provided a great way to feel more powerful as the game went on. It’s a time-tested genre with some modern twists, and it works perfectly.

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-10-12 :: Category: Games

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-10-12 :: Category: Games

10. Dead Space – EA did the smart thing in bringing this horror shooter to iOS. They built the game for the platform – they optimized the controls and gameplay to work even with the touch screen involved. This is something that even games designed for the platform fail to keep in mind, and Dead Space just about nailed it. It became a must-play for fans of the franchise by being an original story, as well; it also managed to create a scary atmosphere even on a 3.5 inch screen, though playing on the iPad was definitely quite the experience.

$1.99
$6.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-01-25 :: Category: Games

$4.99
$9.99
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-01-25 :: Category: Games

9. iBlast Moki 2 – Each little puzzle in this game is like part of a delicate machine. The solution may be to move a bomb just a couple pixels to the left, or to set it off a 20th of a second later. When this game gets going, it requires the kind of planning, and intellectual approach that a game like Angry Birds, which does rely a lot on the physical act of using the trebuchet to launch the birds, cannot provide. There is nothing quite so satisfying as watching the little Rube Goldberg machine I’ve constructed of bombs launching fuzzy little creatures around succeed just as I planned, after so many tweaks. The fact that the game also comes with a level editor so robust that Godzilab themselves made all the levels in the game with it is just icing on the cake.

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-08-18 :: Category: Games

$2.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-08-18 :: Category: Games

8. Death Rally – Oh, look, it’s an isometric racing game with combat. How novel, said the liar. Well, it’s free, I might as well check it out. Hey, this is pretty fun. These upgraded weapons are pretty cool. I can race against Duke Nukem? How cool. I really want to beat the Adversary, but I need to race him perfectly. Just one more run, and I’ve got him. Okay, that was challenging, but I finally did it! Well, that was a novel use of a few minutes…wait, where did my afternoon go? Didn’t I have things I was going to do? Whoops. Guess I’ll just play some more.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-03-31 :: Category: Games

7. Jetpack Joyride: My first extended experience with this game was the day I had to report for jury duty. That day was long, as I had to go through an extensive jury selection process for an important trial. I had plenty of downtime outside of that, and pretty much all of it was spent playing this game. One session turned into another, and then another, and then just one more to try to collect the coins to unlock that new jetpack, or that new outfit. It was some of the most fun any person has ever had on a day where they’ve been selected for a lengthy trial.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-09-01 :: Category: Games

6. NBA Jam: The problem with bringing a lot of retro titles to iOS is the touch screen. Virtual buttons and joysticks are something that people still have problems with, but I myself have gotten used to them and just want people to stop griping about them. However, there is one glaring problem: any game that uses more than 2 buttons that need to be pressed regularly run into issues. The lack of muscle memory for where physical buttons are makes this a hassle. NBA Jam solved this by using a sliding mechanic – there’s a turbo button in the bottom right corner, pass button to the left, shoot button above. Sliding from turbo to pass or shoot when needed was simple, and it solved the three-button issue in a way that allowed this game to work its magic on iOS. And really, because the game had both been out of regular circulation in gaming for long enough to feel fresh again, and because its core mechanics were just fantastical enough to work without much tweaking in the modern day, this was just a ton of fun to play on iOS.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-02-10 :: Category: Games

$4.99
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-04-21 :: Category: Games

Come back on Friday to see the games we selected as the top 5 games of the year 2011.

When Whale Trail was released last month, ustwo’s mills made a big point about how the game needed to sell about 300,000 copies in order to be a financial success. The game has so far only sold 130,000 copies; a number that a lot of indie devs would kill for, but for the greater ambitions of ustwo, it clearly falls well short, given the game’s lengthy development time and high budget. The game reached the top 25 on the iPhone and the top 15 on the iPad while featured as the iPhone/iPod touch game of the week worldwide, but has been declining down the charts ever since. So, in an attempt to revitalize the game, ustwo are executing what they call a “PIVOT 180°™” to try and revitalize sales.

The new update to the game adds 32 new levels which transform the game from just an endless runner into one with level-based challenges as well. The new levels challenge players to try and navigate set levels, collecting blubbles along the way. Reaching certain point scores nets more stars (true false fact: it is now possible to earn more stars in iOS games than it there are stars in the universe), which helps unlock future levels. Those who are too lazy to perform well to unlock those levels, or who want to help mills and the rest of the folks at ustwo come closer to profitability, can pay $0.99 or local equivalent to unlock them all at once.

Of course, the same endless mode is still in there, so those who like their games to never end never have to. This release is obviously another risk taken toward profitability, but ustwo are hoping that between this PIVOT 180°™ and the in-development Android version, Willow the Whale can go from succailure to just plain success. The update is now available on the App Store.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-10-20 :: Category: Games

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Whale Trail Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Whale Trail is an endless runner featuring bright and colorful graphics, where players control a whale flying through the skies.

Read The Full Review »

The Portable Podcast, Episode 107

Whale, whale, whale, what do we have here?

On This Episode:

  • Carter speaks with ustwo’s mills, a British design firm and developer who are about to release their first game, Whale Trail. Carter and mills discuss the trials and tribulations that have gone into the game’s development, what testing has brought to the final experience, why the game is a premium app in a world of free to play titles, and the risk that ustwo is taking in releasing this big budget game.
  • Who We Are:

  • Host: Carter Dotson
  • Guest: mills, ustwo
  • Music:

  • “Beatnes7 (Theme to The Portable Podcast)” by The Eternal – Download on iTunes here:
  • “Nanocarp” by The Eternal
  • How to Listen:

  • Click Here to Subscribe in iTunes:
  • Click Here to Subscribe via RSS.
  • Listen Here:
  • British design studio ustwo is making their first iOS game, Whale Trail. This is a charming endless high score game where players control a whale who is flying through the sky. The goal is to collect bubbles that extend the eponymous whale trail that powers this flying whale, which also extend the points multiplier. Evil dark clouds line the sky as well, and these must be avoided in order to keep the multiplier and whale trail up. Holding down on the screen causes the whale to fly upward, eventually performing loop-de-loops.

    This is a game centered around its visual and artistic design. The theme is key here; the visuals are bright and colorful, representing a rainbow of colors with a whimsical style, contrasting the dark, evil clouds. The music, created by Gruff Rhys, continues that whimsical style with the lyric version of the Whale Trail theme that plays on the title screen, along with the instrumental version that plays in the game itself. Everything in the game is meant to be friendly, fun, and inviting.

    One part of the game design that becomes apparent is that sessions last longer than the average endless/high score game. Failure is not an imminent threat like in other games like Jetpack Joyride; bumping into a cloud is not a death sentence, and refilling the whale trail bar is easy, though the bubbles do become more sparse over time. This was an intentional design decision.

    As according to ustwo’s co-founder and “Chief Wonka,” a man who goes by the single name of Mills, “Whale Trail is about creating a longer gameplay experience – it’s about manifesting an almost endless/neverending gaming experience. You can’t appreciate this wonder if the game ends quick…you can’t rush beauty.” However, he adds that the game is meant to also appeal to a wider audience, including those who want to go for high scores: “It’s there to be enjoyed on the most simple and subtle of levels if you’re that way inclined, or to be enjoyed on a more serious and competitive level, for those who really want to push it to the limit and just focus on achieving the highest scores possible.” However, he reiterates the ultimate goal of the game: “This game is all about the joys of flying.”

    Whale Trail will set sail on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on October 20th. Those looking to get their hands on this game right away can visit ustwo’s Whale Trail Facebook page and become eligible to test out the game for themselves before the game’s final release.

    The Portable Podcast, Episode 105

    Smuggled in from faraway lands.

    On This Episode:

  • Carter and guest co-host Brett Nolan discuss recent release Shadowgun, the partially-launched Forever Drive, and the upcoming Whale Trail.
  • Who We Are:

  • Host: Carter Dotson
  • Guest: Brett Nolan, AppAddict.net
  • Music:

  • “Beatnes7 (Theme to The Portable Podcast)” by The Eternal – Download on iTunes here:
  • “Nanocarp” by The Eternal
  • How to Listen:

  • Click Here to Subscribe in iTunes:
  • Click Here to Subscribe via RSS.
  • Listen on WRGT Radio every Friday at 4pm Central
  • Listen Here:
  • Apps Mentioned in this Episode:

    $4.99
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2011-09-29 :: Category: Games

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2011-10-12 :: Category: Games

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