Cartoon animals are often portrayed as carefree creatures, all snuggled up in a bed of primary colours. However, developer Crystal Dynamics knows better, and in creating Whiplash (Xbox, PS2) it is keeping it real and keeping it gritty. Never mind collecting coins, the stars of this game are on the run from nasty scientists with big syringes and toxic aerosols. Spanx and Redmond are simply trying to escape the reaches of an animal testing laboratory, liberating their fellow critters as they go.
The gameplay twist to this particular platformer comes in the form of manacles that chain Spanx and Redmond together. In a Jak and Daxter/Ratchet and Clank style fashion, Spanx can use Redmond for all sorts of comical manoeuvres, be it a grappling hook, a toilet plunger or, of course, a whip. As the title suggests, Redmond's wellbeing is not a priority in this escapade.
Games like this are often hailed as 'hilarious' though, in truth, often they are not. But the premise for Whiplash is genuinely amusing and, if the character-driven, mission based gameplay is brought together as well as is promised by Crystal Dynamics, then it could well be a good wheeze.