Whoa Dave! is whoa hectic! [Preview]

Whoa Dave! is whoa hectic! [Preview]


I knew Gaijin Games were at PAX East last week with a new project, and loving Runner 2 my goal was to find time to stop by and have a look. The design of their games is always mechanically solid, and the level of retro quirkiness the team adds in to each one is enjoyable and refreshing.

Whoa Dave! is certainly both of those things, and it throws in a dash of collection fever to spice things up.

Playing the demo, I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to Super Crate Box and the OG arcade Mario Bros. The takes place on a single screen arena with a few platforms to hop up and down on. Eggs and skulls appear throughout the platforms and can be picked up and thrown. If I left an egg alone it would eventually hatch into a monster, while a skull would explode. Skulls are great to throw at enemies and eggs, causing them to explode immediately, but waiting too long to chuck one resulted in instadeath.

Monsters evolved once they make it to the bottom of the screen, allowing them to climb back up to the top. Once they’d reach the top, they would evolve again and grow wings. This continued until UFOs would chase me around the platforms with terrifying speed, causing me to jump around on the screen and freak out often after near deaths.

If I was lucky enough to break an egg or kill a monster, I would earn a penny, which would add to my score at the top of the screen.

That’s essentially it. It seems simple — no thanks in part to its classic 80s arcade styled visuals — but because everything is a danger things can get frantic quickly. It doesn’t help that the music seems to shift as more enemies appear and eggs drop, causing me to get excited and twitchy as the game progressed. I would accidentally throw eggs as soon as I grabbed them, flinging them at walls, other eggs, and enemies for what was really no apparent reason. I got excited, often, and mistakes were made.


And all for, what, 35 cents? I wanted to grab every coin on the screen, every shiny or glowing object, but that would lead me down a darker hole of want-need than I could allow myself. It even has multiplayer options, which could make Smash Bros seem like Match.com in comparison.

Whoa Dave! seems like it could be one of those great little experiences that we would load up every so often, just to see what scores our friends have and to try and top our own. It’ll be appearing on every platform possible this year.