Starwhal: Just The Tip is the QWOP of neon narwhal space combat sims. You flail around wildly trying to get where you want to go, in a blast of multicolored chaos, trying to fly through space and stab your opponent narwhals in the heart with your kick ass facial horn. It’s chaotic, it’s unpredictable and it’s stupidly fun.

The game takes place in a sectioned off space combat arena with you and three other narwhals in separate sections of a map, with your heart planted safely on the ground out of stabbing distance. When the fight begins you have to flail around, tilting up or down and speeding forwards, trying to stab your enemy on the heart on their chest, while keeping your own heart safe. It often results in head on copllisions, two players desperately pushing each other hoping to get the upper hand and end up in the stronger position or wild high speed chases around the map.

 

(You’ll not regret watching the above match video, it gives a great impression of the dramatic nature of the game).

The controlls consist of a very quick naccelleration and a super fast turning circle that’s a little unweildy to control. It means that the challenge is often not in out thinking your opponent, but getting the controlls down enough setting up a scenbario where controlls will be simple enough to get the kill. I found myself trying to line myself up for straight line kills and spinning kills more than anything else just because those were the ones I found easiest to pull off.

Every time you’re close to hitting an enemy or being hit the action slows down dramatically, makinjg for lots of very intense yet awkward to control escape manouever attempts. The techno soundtrack builds in intensity and I found myself with only a split second to make a judgement call between the risk of going for the kill versus the added vulnerability of being near an opponent during this bullet time combat scenario.

Starwhal: Just The Tip is one of these wonderful ideas that could only have come out of a game jam. Using the same “tough controls with a simple to grasp concept” approach as Surgeon Simulator and QWOP, it gives you a challenge and lets you and a group of friends have a blast trying to master it’s control challenges. I can’t wait to get a longer hands on with the game and see how it stacks up over longer play sessions.

About The Author

Founding Member

Laura’s gaming journey began in the 90′s when she was given a SNES by her older brother with Mario paint. From that day video games were all she thought about day or night, be it playing them, designing them, discussing them or writing about them. Why does she want to write about indie games? Because indie devs are awesome and she wants to be their new best friend by telling them how terrible their games are. That’s how it works right? Twitter: @LauraKBuzz Email: Laurak@indiehaven.com

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