WhipCrack Review

Independent games are always a source of great inspiration (and sometimes, ridicule) in that you never know what you’re going to find nestled away in the depths of indie creations. You’ll find some hidden gems, and you’ll get into some real stinkers. In the case of WhipCrack, you have a bit of a diamond in the rough that presents some fair challenge, interesting game mechanics, and a very strange story.

On a planet ten light years away, you’ve been sent to uncover the mystery behind a silent communications tower. All of a sudden it’s gone silent and it’s your job to figure out why. As a Weapon Hazard Intervention Protocol (W.H.I.P.), you reach the planet and find out that it’s been overrun by malevolent aliens (go figure!). It’s time to take it upon yourself and run out the alien infestation by throwing around your “master” and battling said aliens.

In essence, you will be cracking a small black whip in order to “crack it,” hitting onscreen enemies. It’s another take on the thumbstick shooter, but your only means of defense is via behaving like some sort of dominatrix. No, seriously. Cracking the whip takes a few seconds to get used to since it isn’t instantly reactive, but as you begin smashing through enemy power blocks in order to reach their defenses and absorb energy, it soon becomes second nature. You’ll need to collect certain amounts of enemy charges in order to dissipate the threats, as well as protecting your Master. It sounds difficult, doesn’t it? It definitely does take a bit of getting used to, as controlling a whip is unlike what most other games offer.


You’ll be racing against the clock, pitted against a number of different kinds of baddies, each type possessing unique abilities meant to hinder your progress even further. You’ll need to make sure that the Master absorbs charges as quickly and efficiently as possible, lest enemies regain them before he can make his way to them. He can’t directly be attacked, and neither can W.H.I.P., but it’s prudent to keep an eye on him at all times in order to speed through the levels without too much static. If watching for enemies isn’t enough, you can also destroy charges by yourself, so be cautious when navigating each level.

Though WhipCrack is quite simple to pick up and play, a voice explains each and every move you make, including advanced maneuvers and other difficult-to-understand mechanics that you may overlook by simply jumping in to play, like most of us usually do. This was an exhaustive measure and one that I appreciated, as it was much more efficient than a short tutorial and it taught me the basics well. Be forewarned, however, that you simply cannot get by aimlessly whipping around and assuming that’s all that is required of you. WhipCrack requires much more skill and a patient hand, which puts it in a league above other, similar endeavors.

WhipCrack features 19 single-player missions, as well as an “expert” mode that you can tackle after completing each one of them. The prerequisite of most games these days — multiplayer — is included as well, and you can play with local friends only. Up to four of you will simultaneously eradicate bad guys and collect charges on the same screen. Of course, rounding up four players to play WhipCrack online would likely be a feat, since it seems to be a bit more obscure, and even “mainstream” titles are waning in online popularity these days.

The game is simple, but it sports clear and sharp presentation with a neon, glowing whip lash and stylish menus and fonts. For an amateur submission, the voice overs and music were very well thought-out and gave a very professional feel to the game, which is something I usually never expect for the paltry sum of 240 Microsoft points ($3.00). It’s absolutely a superb effort, and one that fledgling independent developers could learn a thing or two from, so maybe they won’t be stuck submitting pointless slot games or dating games to the queue on Xbox Live. WhipCrack is most definitely worth your time and attention if you’re looking for something a little bit different.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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