October 10, 2009 12:29 PM | Michael Rose
Whipcrack may appear to be another space shooter (or space whipper, as the case may be) but there's a lot more going on here - it's actually more of a puzzler in shooter clothing. The task is to destroy aliens, give them to your master Recycler Twelve to harvest the energy, then use that to rebuild the downed communications tower.
Enemies are easy enough to destroy with one sharp crack of the whip, but then once the recycler has had his way with them and turned them into power, they will hoard around him and try to eradicate the collected balls of electricity. You can harvest the power instantly to make it disappear, but if you hold the enemy back instead and don't harvest it straight away, collecting multiple balls will lead to upgrades, making your life a whole lot easier.
As the main campaign progresses, different types of enemy are introduced which require new ways of thinking to use them to your advantage. This progression is really well thought out and each new level feels like a brand new challenge rather than just the same thing, only harder.
There is multiplayer too, for up to 4 players. I managed to give a 2-player game a go and it turned out to be good fun, although I'll assume that adding extra people to the fray would make it a whole lot crazier. If you're a little dubious about the Xbox Live Indie Games collection, this may well change your mind. WhipCrack is a great twist on the shooter genre and, at 240 MS Points ($3), well worth at least trying out the demo.