Okay, technically a narwhal isn’t a porpoise, but when did a keen understanding of marine life ever get in the way of a good pun? in fact, there’s a good chance you’ll call your curvaceous avatar a lot worse in the first few hours of play most of which we can’t print here.

This 2d joust-athon will test you. its controls may look simple, but learning how to control your ’whal is just the tip of the iceberg. learning to master the balance between its low gravity physics, your weight and the power of your thrust is a whole other kettle of plankton. But once you nail it you’ll be shattering hearts in no time.


Both solo and multiplayer flavours of play are on offer the single-player variation is a great way to learn Starwhal’s basics. the obstacle and target setups the former focused on mastering speed through a series of assault courses, the latter aiming to tutor you on the finer points of tusk management do fine jobs of concealing their classroom intentions in a puzzle mode that’s just as fun as its multiplayer sibling.

In its natural couchplay habitat, Starwhal is many things unforgiving, infuriating, perhaps even downright sadistic in a full-on four-play showdown but it’s always brilliant. with a giant heart taped to your belly, all your piloting skills are pushed to the limit as you aim to skewer your opponents’ tickers while avoiding such a fate yourself.

There’s not a huge amount of replayability beyond the hook of the initial concept, but if it does manage to stick its tusk deep enough into your neon ticker, then much like towerfall ascension and nidhogg before it, Starwhal will live long as a couchplay favourite.

- download only -

7/10