Whoa Dave! is a small game. It's being sold for less than $5 on all platforms, whether mobile or static.
This arcade wonder from Choice Provisions (formerly Gaijin Games) and Minivisions is available on the Nintendo 3DS, PC, PlayStation 4 and PS Vita for $4.99. It's also selling for iOS for $1.99. Based on current platform listings, I don't see it for Android. I wouldn't be surprised if it's either planned or will eventually make the jump, though.
Whoa Dave! is priced perfectly. As I'll describe in a moment here, this genius little concept is just hard enough to maintain being challenging while forgiving enough to open itself up to long sessions of play.
It's so simple that it's brilliant, and it's fun enough that I'll wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who loves arcade style games. Whoa Dave! is kind of wonderful.
Kill the Aliens, Collect the Pennies
Whoa Dave! is a little like the original Mario Bros. arcade game. One character jumps between levels in order to dodge enemies and hurt them when vulnerable. While Mario and Luigi had to use their heads to flip Goombas over, Dave grabs bomb skulls to break eggs before they hatch, anything to kill aliens out of eggs and a DAVE special to kill everything on the screen.
Look, it plays even more simply than I can explain it. Here's the game in motion. Remember, Dave kills stuff for pennies. When aliens make it to the lava below, they get an upgrade worth more when killed but much deadlier.
It looks tough because it is, though I believe this is the game's Bonkers mode that's unlocked after earning $1.50 in one play.
Here's the total truth, and maybe the best thing I can say about Whoa Dave!: The simple act of finding that video you see above in order to write this review had me drooling for another round. The three lives only last a few minutes, so rounds come quick. The brief games and simple mechanics make Whoa Dave! an insanely addictive offering. I had to play it because I saw it in motion.
Let's take that further, though. I had friends over while working through Whoa Dave!. I passed my handheld to one friend, knowing that he has a play history with Choice Provision's titles, and he wound up playing through several rounds before setting a high score, signing his initials and handing it back.
What About Whoa Dave! Makes it So Good?
Put simply, Whoa Dave! is good because it's a new charming arcade classic.
All of this game's hallmarks, from its logo design to its graphics, music, high score table and title screen, feel like they've been ripped out of the arcade era.
Pac-man, Galaga, Donkey Kong and Frogger. These are classic arcade games bound together with a common theme: they're dead simple to understand, but extremely difficult to master.
That's the vibe Whoa Dave! brings to the table. It has that arcade charm aesthetically, but it also provides the mechanics that give it an extra ounce of quality and addictiveness. This is a game that arcade fiends will love, and that's because it perfectly emulates the genre while creating a new set of mechanics to experience it.
Like a Challenge? You'll Love Whoa Dave!.
An arcade game at this price, regardless of the platform you want it on, is almost a no-brainer. As long as the foundation is strong, any arcade game has the capability to transcend into an experience much greater than its genre.
Whoa Dave! has that solid mechanical foundation, but it also has the package that surrounds it. This game looks wonderful, the soundtrack behind the action is catchy and the tight controls all take it to that next level of good.
Heck, my only real complaint is that the initials on the high score screen don't default to the last used set. They always start at AAA. If that's my biggest complaint with Whoa Dave!, you should easily understand how much I like it.
At $4.99, this is a buy. Big time.
We received a code to download and review Whoa Dave! on the Nintendo 3DS from Choice Provisions.