Whale Trail

Whale Trail developer defends game-changing freemium update

Whale Trail developer defends game-changing freemium update

"We failed to anticipate such a strong reaction."

Whale Trail developer ustwo has admitted it did not predict the strength of fan feeling against its recent transition to being a freemium game.

Whale Trail 2.0 launched on iOS last week with a newly free price tage and a variety of in-app purchases to buy power-ups and the like.

"We didn't anticipate how many people would be so put off by their initial taste [of Version 2.0] and in hindsight we should have done a better job of helping players through the transition," ustwo co-founder Matt Miller told Modojo.

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App of the Day: Whale Trail Challenge Pack

App of the Day: Whale Trail Challenge Pack

A riot of colour that will last forever?

In a world where 200 consoles are often packaged up without a bundled video cable, and chunks of games that we used to get for free are now sold to us separately, it's rather gratifying to load up one of your favourite mobile releases and discover that the developers have bolted 32 more levels onto it for free.

Like a lot of freemium add-ons, Whale Trail's Challenge Pack invites you to spend a token amount of money (1.49) to unlock all its levels, but persistent players who have spent a few months plugging away at the main game should be able to earn them without handing over anything more than the 69p we paid for the game in the first place.

The original Whale Trail was another one-button phenomenon. We took control of a flying whale (obviously), tapped the screen to propel it upwards and released our grip to let it descend. The idea was to dodge through networks of dark clouds and collect a magical rainbow stream of bubbles that fuelled your flight, and the goal was to set high scores by going as far as possible. Like Tiny Wings, Canabalt and plenty of others before it, we chased that goal with every unlikely pound of flying mammalian blubber we could muster.

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