GAME NAME: Cloudberry Kingdom
DEVELOPER(S): Pwnee Studios
PUBLISHER(S): Ubi Soft
PLATFORM(S): Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
GENRE(S): 2D Platforming
RELEASE DATE(S): August 1st, 2013
Being a child of the 80’s, I have played my fair share of difficult platformers. Whether it be Ghosts ‘n Goblins or even the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game, I’ve spent countless numbers of hours dying at the hand of difficult enemies or ridiculous platforming challenges. When I first saw Pwnee Studios game Cloudberry Kingdom part of me wanted no part in it. But the other part, with a devilish grin, said “Bring it on!”
Cloudberry Kingdom is definitely a throwback. It leaves intricate graphics and innovation behind for a clean looking, straight up platformer. The story is your basic princess gets kidnapped and a hero must save her, but with a lot of laugh out loud puns and tongue in cheek humor. It’s refreshing to see a game not take itself too seriously and just get back to the roots of gaming. The great thing is that the game is difficult by design and not because of terrible controls. The game controls how you would expect with basic running and jumping abilities. As you progress through the games Story Mode, you get extra skills such as angel wings, which allow you to double jump, a jet pack, which well is a jet pack, and others like your character attached to a rolling wheel or a pogo stick. The story mode cuts the game into many short levels and takes place within 7 chapters. The short level design makes the game enjoyable as you always feel that it is possible to overcome even the most difficult levels because the end is so close to being in sight.
In Arcade Mode, you start with 15 lives and as you try to get a high score the random generated levels (the game uses an algorithm based on skill and abilities to create levels, and it actually works well) get progressively harder with more and more obstacles thrown at you. You can earn extra lives by collecting many coins and the more you collect without dying the higher your multiplier gets.
In free play, Cloudberry Kingdom is totally customizable and you can create and tinker with your character to your hearts desire. Also included in the game is 4-player co-op so you can let your friends endure the same torturous levels as you. Isn’t that what friends are for?
The graphics are cartoon vectors and clean. The HD generation makes even the simplest graphics look good. My biggest complaint about Cloudberry Kingdom though is the soundtrack. All the songs are forgettable and to me, they just do not fit the game. They are really repetitive and when the song ends there is an awkward silence between tracks. I had to turn UP the sound effects and turn DOWN the music. Being a musician myself, music plays a huge part in my enjoyment of games.
I would recommend this game to any platforming fan. There is a plethora of content, the levels have a good difficulty curve and a great sense of accomplishment. While the game never really finds its own identity, there is still plenty to love about this title. Let’s hope Pwnee Studios builds upon this formula and blows us away with their next title.
**Review Based on Wii U Version