What started off as a small Kickstarter-funded project has morphed into a full-on downloadable title being published by none other than Ubisoft. The game was toted as being “the hardest platformer ever”, and for having an infinite number of levels. But does Cloudberry Kingdom‘s gameplay match its ambitious promises? The answer is: sort of.
What Cloudberry Kingdom lacks in quality, it mostly makes up for in quantity. In its most basic form, it plays like somewhat poor fan-made Flash-version of Super Mario World. But that is only one of the twelve different flavors of platforming the game has to offer. Sometimes your Hero will be wearing a jet pack, or be super tiny, or be strapped to a pinwheel, or… become a spaceship? Are any of your character’s strange transformation abilities explained in the game’s story? Of course not, they just happen. But it does keep the game feeling fresh through and through.
While we’re on the topic, though. I should go ahead and mention that Cloudberry Kingdom‘s story is pretty poor. It introduces you to the game’s hero who is simply named “Bob”. Bob is trying to save a princess from an evil wizard. That’s about it. For every forty or-so of the game’s small levels you beat, you get an oddly choppy-looking cutscene that features the game’s characters in paper mache-form. These cutscenes look grossly out of place, as their paper mache-look doesn’t even remotely match the in-game visuals. It also doesn’t help that the game’s attempts at “humor” are awfully cringeworthy, That said, I wish to offer full disclosure: I haven’t beaten the story mode yet, I’m on one of the final levels, and am completely stuck. The game’s boasts of being difficult are definitely valid.
Even then, I still enjoy the game quite a bit. On top of its great abundance of variety, it has the very impressive ability to create randomly generated levels of any difficulty. Each procedurally generated level is guaranteed to be beatable, and there are an impressive amount of settings that allow players to get the exact platforming experience they’re looking for.
All-in-all, there really isn’t much to say about Cloudberry Kingdom, other than that “it’s pretty fun”. In a time when platformers are so far and few between, fans of the genre are surely looking for something to preoccupy themselves with until Rayman Legends comes out, Cloudberry Kingdom will almost definitely help that wait feel a bit shorter. The game’s ability to procedurally generate levels is really impressive, let’s just hope that the next time it’s put to use the game built around it is more focused. It would make a world of difference if the game was really good at one or two things instead of just okay at a dozen.