If you have ever wondered what a 2D action game would be like without usual game mechanics that make an action game, such as jumping or running, and instead add a main element, like swimming, Dingle LLC has just the game for you.
Beach Whale ($0.99, App Store Link) is a universal 2D action game, which enables you to control a whale swimming through the ocean, surfing the waves and riding the tide. Your goal is to collect fish and different items to unlock things like new whales, and at the same time, not swimming off the ocean and winding up a beached whale.
From the first time you start playing Beach Whale, you may notice it may feel like an endless runner or in this case an endless swimmer, because of the simple but challenging gameplay and controls. There are a number of bosses within Beach Whale such as sharks and crabs, which make the game that much more challenging.
Throughout each level, there are different obstacles besides getting beached, of course. You use tilt controls to guide your whale while avoiding enemies such as crabs and traps. At the same time you collect a wide variety of fish that have been beached from the tide.
Guiding a whale in any level is somewhat a challenge in itself. Some boss fights and super boss fights are difficult, not only from a gameplay perspective, but as far as mechanics go, controlling the whale can be tricky from time to time. Like any boss battle, you just have to dodge oncoming offense from the enemy, and whatever obstacles you may encounter at the same time.
Of course, throughout the levels you only collect fish for unlocking items and new whales with certain skills. Running into things like crabs will only injure your whale as well as bombs dropping from above.
The controls take some time to get used to. Beach Whale does have tilt controls and while it may work for some racing or puzzle games, it just seems a bit out of place in a 2D action game. It doesn’t feel like it responds too well to whichever way you tilt your device. I’m sure the gameplay would have been a lot more fluid if Beach Whale had touch controls with a d-pad or by swiping up and down the screen.
In this case however, it seems the tilt controls just make the difficulty harder, whether it’s intentional or not. Besides the tilt controls, you can also tap the left side of the screen to make the whale’s fin flap, which will make your whale swim faster. Tapping the right side of the screen will release bombs you have collected. There isn’t any indication on the screen of how many bombs you have collected, so you just have to keep track.
The graphics of Beach Whale aren’t anything too original or different. They’re pretty simple and meant to be geared towards a younger audience. There isn’t too much detail in the whales or enemies, but they’re fine for a casual game such as this. The interface in the game can be a bit confusing. Once you’re finished with any level, instead of going straight to the next level, you have to go back to the level selection screen and either buy a level with the fish you have collected or you have the option to go to the in-game store and buy different items or whales.
Beach Whale is a unique competitor and an interesting take on 2D action games. It has a lot to offer in terms of gameplay, items, and different worlds. It does stall in the confines of controls and graphics, but the gameplay is something that hasn’t been done too often, so it’s still fresh and appealing to anyone looking for something out of the ordinary, besides your run-of-the-mill action game.
Throughout the game there are plenty of items and whales to collect. Each whale has a different ability, so depending on what level or world you’re playing in; a certain whale might be a better choice than another. With boss fights, super boss fights, and a survival mode, the gameplay can be much more challenging, which gives it plenty of replay value.
Price: $0.99, App Store Link
- Unique and original gameplay with four worlds, challenging boss fights, and survival mode
- Six different whales with specific skills and upgrades
- Controls can be easier to pick up on
- Graphics are average at best