LifeisXbox’s Gutwhale review | Developed by the Austrian studio Stuffed Wombat and published by Ratalaika Games S.L., Gutwhale is a challenging roguelike platformer where you play as an old man and his trustworthy rifle who finds himself trapped inside of a whale. No, you are not playing as Pinocchio or Jonah. He’s just a regular guy who, for unexplained reasons, ended up inside the digestive system of a whale and must get out of there. And how do you leave the digestive system of every living being? Going down through its guts until you find the light of day! It may sound a little funny, but this is a trip that will hardly make you laugh.
This is a short review, our usual the good, mixed and the bad was difficult because of the nature of this game. We played Gutwhale for less than three hours on Xbox One X
As you descend through the three (yes, only three) randomly generated levels of this whale’s gut, you need to eliminate different enemies per stage with a single bullet: whenever you fire your rifle, you need to pick the bullet up to be able to fire it again. Whenever you die, you respawn with one extra ammo, leaving the old bullet available for you on the floor. Until you have run out of lives and a van drops over you and your enemies’ heads, and you must start all over again.
Killing your enemies fast and stylishly grants you points that, after each level, can be used to buy upgrades and extra lives in a shop to make your descent a little easier. And every time you restart your adventure (trust me, you are going to do it dozens of times) from the lobby, you can select a different hat with abilities that mess a little with the game. But the original one is more than enough to beat the game, thanks to the precise and highly responsive controls, which makes the Gutwhale a solid experience.
Graphically speaking, the game presents some interesting pixel art – especially in the scenarios, since characters and enemies don’t have too many details. The audio does the job, although there’s hardly anything remarkable about it. From an artistic perspective, Gutwhale doesn’t deliver too much content. And now we mentioned the amount of content, here comes my biggest disappointment with this game.
Its challenging nature keeps pushing you for another try whenever you fall in combat. And this, my friends, happens a lot. But counting only with three levels before you reach its ‘fake end’ (there’s an almost secret end for you to unlock) feels way too short. Despite its low pricing tag and the easy 1000G players with a minimum of skill (and patience) will get, I really wish there were more content in this game.
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With a history of gaming that goes from his old man’s Atari 2600 to his Xbox One, Rafael or RAF687, our Brazilian editor, has a love for games as old as he can remember. He has already spent countless hours in many consoles (Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega Saturn, PS1, PS2 and Xbox 360) and is always ready for more (as long as his wife is asleep). Raf has been writing for LifeisXbox since 2017, with a passion for games of almost all genres – though we know he has a special place in his heart for RPGs, racing games and anything that includes pixel art. Writing about games has always been a childhood dream to Raf, dream that he has fulfilled reviewing games for you here. You can drop him a message at Twitter, Facebook or Xbox Live at any time.