Endless running games are not a new concept; neither are endless flying games, for that matter (Tiny Wings, anyone?). Still, there's something about Whale Trail that's addictive enough to make it work, and work well.
Maybe it's the child-like aesthetic which almost feels ironic; or the trippy, upbeat soundtrack. Maybe it's just the mechanics, because endlessly eating dots can be addictive on its own, as Pac-man taught us all many years ago. Whatever it is, Whale Trail will keep you playing.
Whale Trail is a side-scroller, somewhat similar to Jetpack Joyride in that you find yourself on the left side of the screen, and need to constantly maneuver as the landscape whooshes by. But whereas Jetpack Joyride is all about avoiding dangers, Whale Trail is mostly about munching those aforementioned circles.
As an airborne whale, those circles are your fuel: Tap the screen to gain altitude, stop tapping to drop like a stone (okay, like a whale). The trick is in aiming your path so that you eat enough circles, and avoid the dangerous, sinister clouds that want to zap you out of the sky.
It's a classic free-to-play: Playing gets you Krill, which you can then use to buy power-ups and enhance your whale's skills (make it more cloud-resistant and so on). You'll get some Krill for playing, but you'll get much more for forking over some hard-earned, real-world money. That said, Whale Trail doesn't feel greedy: Just like Jetpack Joyride, it's fun to play even without buying any power-ups or enhancements at all, just on the power of its core mechanic.
Whale Trail is a well-made game. The upbeat soundtrack works, as do the very colorful graphics. The art feels like it would feel right at home on a children's TV show, but the game doesn't feel all that child-like, mainly because it's just not that easy. In fact, there's a special version aimed just at ages 3-6, marrying the look with the "proper" gameplay difficulty.
As a grown-up, I can say I thoroughly enjoyed Whale Trail. It's just fun to play.