Fresh off the back of the spectacular game Whale Trail comes a new free app by the developers ustwo – Whale Trail Frenzy. Frenzy is a new game based on the original that moves into a new genre for both ustwo and the Whale Trail series – freemium gaming.
The original Whale Trail was critically acclaimed by reviewers everywhere for its fantastic graphics, and when you first launch Frenzy you can see that the same quality is present in the free app.
The gameplay, however, has completely changed. Although you do still fly through the sky as a baby whale, the levels system has been scrapped in favour of an infinite-scrolling level, similar to games such as Cananbalt and Tiny Wings. Along with the new infinite-scrolling levels, a new in-game currency called Krill has been introduced. Krill is earned based on your score and can also be obtained via special bubbles and, to put it bluntly, your hard-earned cash. You can also complete offers and watch videos to gain free Krill, as shown in this screenshot below.
Krill can be used to purchase items, boosts, wallpapers and the like from the Krill Store. There are a wide range of performance enhancers available, and after playing for an hour or so I had a fairly good spread of skills (note – I didn’t buy any Krill, I earned it!)
Now, onto the actual game. On my Nexus 7 running 4.1.1 it was butter-smooth (see what I did there), but that obviously will vary depending on your device and version of Android. The gameplay is fairly simple – touch the screen to go down, release to go up, avoid enemies and collect bubbles.
With most apps of this genre I get bored after about half an hour of playtime, but with Whale Trail Frenzy the opposite seemed to happen – the more I played, the more I enjoyed it! The graphics honestly are beautiful, outclassing the rest of the one-touch genre in my opinion. There are human touches, too, with Willow the Whale exclaiming things such as ‘I can see my house from here!’ if you get high enough.
However, as with all Freemium games, there is a catch and with Frenzy, this particular catch is the adverts. Although I do see the necessity for adverts in applications, I think that the Whale Trail Frenzy advert system is too frequent and too invasive, with adverts such as the one above appearing at the start of nearly every turn. The image ads such as the one above aren’t so bad, but the real issue I have are with the video adverts. Again, I know that non-skipable video adverts are the real money spinners for the development studios, but they are far too frequent for me to ignore in such a review. I wouldn’t mind paying for an ad-free version of the game, but at the time of this review they hadn’t released one yet.
Update: Sir Dr Mills Jnr™ , the ustwo co-founder, has responded in the comments below to say that when you buy Krill via In App Purchase the adverts are automatically removed – they are working on an update at the moment to make users more aware of this. Thanks!
Despite this, I think Whale Trail Frenzy is a fantastic game that is well deserving of the space on your phone or tablet. The graphics are great, the gameplay is polished and the controls intuitive, with the intrusive adverts being the only major detraction from the overall experience.