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24 Jan 2023

REVIEW: WHALIEN - Unexpected Guests on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
We are back once again, and this time we are looking at a bright and colourful action adventure game.

"Players take on the role of Ernest Hemingwhale, the sole remaining inhabitant of Fin, the mechanical whale. Fin is not only Ernest's home but also his close friend. When mysterious and dangerous Squiddies begin taking over Fin's body, he doesn't hesitate to take down the slimy threats. The origin of the mischievous little beings is not the only secret to discover. The mechanical whale is filled with little details and even more unexpected guests, the Springpeople. Whatever they are up to remains to be seen.

Ernest must use both his wits and special gloves and pearls - appropriately named Mr. Push and Mrs. Pull - to manipulate objects in the environment, solve puzzles, and send the Squiddies packing. Through unique, vibrant, and colorful environments, players delve deep into the inner workings of Fin, meet loveable characters, and help protect not only Ernest's home but also his friend.

WHALIEN- Unexpected Guests is a short but sweet adventure game about friendship."

This is an interesting game, there is not as much direction as I would like, which means that on some levels you wont really know what you are supposed to do or where you need to go, but if you stick with it, you will figure it out. With that being said, I have to admit that I gave up on level pretty far into the game, which I kinda knew what I had to do, but didn't really understand how to do it, so I found myself just running about aimlessly, trying to do everthing and anything I could, and as mentioned, without direction it makes some parts of the game rather frustrating.

General gameplay involves you getting from one location to the next, there are collectables hidden around the level as well. You will gain a few powers, that of pushing and that of attracting, you use these powers to either move things out of your way, position them to help you reach a certain point, you also have your gloves which each has the push and pull ability but on a larger scale. These are the skills you really need to master, as you will need to fire the ability and set it off in order to activate certain things.

Some levels need precise jumping and placement, other levels require more of a puzzle element where you might need to activate something to move forward. In later levels you will need to collect ingredients, and feed what I believe is the mechanical Whale, this is where I got stuck and eventually gave up. I assume this was near the end of the game, so I wasn't too bothered.

The Good
Bright and colourful, controls are easy to learn, and in general gameplay is fun.

The Bad
A lack of direction really hurts the gameplay, and leaves you feel frustrated instead of challenged. Some motion sickness issues when I first started playing, I disabled some of the graphical effects and that lessened them.

Until I got stuck I very much enjoyed the game, if you don't get stuck as I did, you will probably complete the game in about 3 hours, so keep that in mind.

WHALIEN - Unexpected Guests has its problems, but I am sure they will get fixed in future updates. It is not perfect by any means, but it is also not bad. This is a decent adventure game, perhaps a little harder than it needs to be considering who it should appeal to. I score this game a fair 7/10.

Out Now on Steam

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