The game equivalent of Kirby eating and swallowing an enemy and getting nothing out of it.
Whipseey and the Lost Atlas is, unintentionally, very ironic. Its titular protagonist is obviously reminiscent of Nintendo’s pink puffball, but the comparison turns out only to be skin deep. Like most Kirby games, Whipseey’s adventure is a simple action-platformer with fairly lengthy stages that each culminate in a boss fight. Unlike most Kirby games, especially more recent entries, Whipseey and the Lost Atlas is woefully short, overly-basic, and lacking in charm.
The story begins with a brief cutscene that shows a boy being teleported into a book and then transforming into Whipseey. He is then given a whip by a princess who looks suspiciously like Princess Peach, at least from the obscured angles we see her from. Following this, the game opens with Whipseey in a beach-themed level, which starts out pretty easy as you figured out the basic controls. No rocket science or brain surgery is involved here: you can jump, attack directly in front of you with the whip, or press the jump button in mid-air to activate a helicopter-like move that slows your descent. Whipseey actually controls well, but that’s one of the few bright spots.
The most glaring issues with Whipseey and the Lost Atlas are the lack of variety and overall gameplay. Throughout the course of the five stages, you gain no new powers or abilities, nor do you unlock any secrets or do much other than walk from left to right, jump occasionally, and whip uninspired minions into shape. Actually, I can’t say the minions are uninspired because many of them seem to be ripped directly from much better games like Super Mario Bros and Mega Man. Defeating enemies rewards you with either small gems worth one or larger ones worth five, with your reward for collecting 100 gems being an extra life.
The entire game can be completed in about 30-45 minutes, and there’s no real reason to go back to it once you’ve done so. The file select menu displays a percentage beside your file, but it simply goes up in increments of 20 percent as you beat each stage. With no hidden exits or secrets, the percentage only serves to underscore how hollow the experience is. While the art style is attractive, the music doesn’t really add much, so it’s not really an adventure you’ll want to savour either.
Ultimately, I’m not sure why Whipseey and the Lost Atlas exists. It does nothing new, and by looking so similar to such a recognizable video game character, it invites unflattering comparisons and almost sells you on a promise it doesn’t even attempt to live up to. While the backgrounds for the five stages do change, the platforming and boss fights are incredibly similar. To be certain, there are much more creative and worthwhile platformers on the eShop. The addition of “Lost Atlas” in the title attempts to add some mystery and intrigue to Whipseey, but even Kirby would spit this one out.