“Jump and whip your way through this epic adventure,” begins the opening blurb for the Whipseey and the Lost Atlas listing on the Nintendo eShop. It undoubtedly does feature jumping, yes, and there’s certainly a decent amount of whipping to be found, but calling it epic is a bit of a stretch; we’ve had hiccuping spells that have lasted longer.
You play as Drew, a young lad who finds himself in Whipseeyland where he’s transformed into a pink blob. He has to find the magical orbs that will help transform him back into a human and go back home. Within seconds of starting the game, it’s pretty clear where Whipseey’s main influence lies: this is very much an adventure that’s inspired by the early Kirby games, given its retro-style visuals, cheery chiptune music and the small matter of the hero being a pink blob.
Rather than having Kirby’s swallowing and floating abilities, however, Whipseey is instead armed with a magical whip that can not only attack enemies but also be used to hook onto parts of the scenery to swing across gaps, or spun like a helicopter blade to help you fall slower. It’s a basic but fun mechanic and for a while, the game is extremely enjoyable; gleefully strolling through each stage is a treat and while it may look like the Kirby games, it certainly isn’t as easy. There are some tricky moments to be found here and the boss fights can put up a bit of a challenge until you learn the patterns.
It’s a great start, but around 45 minutes into the game we reached a cutscene where Whipseey turned back into a boy. “Well, that’s an interesting twist,” we thought. Turns out it was a very interesting twist: we’d finished it. We quickly checked our game save and, sure enough, 100% completion. This is no word of a lie: this game has a total of five stages and takes less than an hour to beat. The argument could be that it’s only £4.99, but there are free demos out there that offer more gameplay than this.
On paper Whipseey is a lovely tribute to the days of the Kirby games, but when the entire game is shorter than just the first world of Kirby's Adventure – which is already available as part of the Switch Online NES collection – we just can't recommend you spend your money on it. If this was a free demo teasing a full adventure we'd be demanding you play it, but if this is really all there is that's incredibly poor.