Title: Super Cloudbuilt
Platform: Xbox One (reviewed), PS4 and PC
Publisher: Double Eleven
Release date: July 25th
Tl;Dr: An interesting culmination of many different concepts, marred by definite flaws flaws.
Price: Not revealed as of writing
Family Focus: Click here for more information.
Although I have completed the game, gone back and twiddled with it, then played a bit more on top of that, I still can’t get my head around Super Cloudbuilt! The “re-release,” of Double Eleven and Coilworks platform shooter has kept me on my toes for the last few days.
As the picture suggests, Super Cloudbuilt is a fast paced platformer which pushes the meaning of “run and gun.” Players are in the shoes of Demi, a young soldier who wakes up in a strange abandoned hospital. Littering the hospital is countless strange doors, and each one of them leads to a uniquely built speed running platform level. Demi must travel through each of these levels to find out why she is there and how she can escape.
Gameplay wise, Super Cloudbuilt, to me, is a mish-mash of multiple different influences. Firstly we have the speedrunning madness, obviously inspired by the king of “gotta go fast,” Sonic the Hedgehog. Also coming a close second is, strangely, Dark Souls, coupling the fast paced running with an unforgiving level of difficulty. Simple to say, if you play this game, you will die. A lot. I think this is the reason I cannot come to terms with it. The mix between the speed and difficulty almost ruins the game for me.
It is to note that Cloudbuilt, the game that Super Cloudbuilt is a “re-release,” of, was universally acclaimed when it was released. A quick look at the Steam page tells me everything I need to know. The mix of severe difficulty and speedrunning does appeal on face value and it’s a fun game to play. Coupled with cell shaded graphics, which currently is a much loved style, we have the makings on an indie darling. The problem is, I can’t decide if I like it or not.
I think the main problem is that I just can’t wrap my head around what Super Cloudbuilt is trying to do. There seems to be so much crammed into this little game that seems cluttered. One of the main things that irks me is the gun side of this run and gun extravaganza, especially the way the shooting side is designed.
The default button mapping forgoes the obvious choice of the trigger buttons for the gunplay in place of other maybe not so obvious buttons. To put it bluntly the default shooting buttons seem mapped to some very counter-intuitive places. It just feels wrong avoiding the trigger buttons when I try to shoot.
Not only that, but the jump button has been placed near the triggers! It seems a little counter intuitive to have the buttons on a faced paced, speedrunning, platformer default mapped to odd and confusing places. Because of this, it’s tricky making sure you are doing exactly the right thing. I have found myself on the bottom of many a watery grave as a result.
Now I am not saying that Super Cloudbuilt is a bad game, not by any means. When it works, it plays out fantastically. Demi flies from one platform to the next, and her quick fingers shoot any targets in front of her as she wall runs, jetpacks, and climbs her way to the exit. For the most part this works well. But there are moments where your fingers get tangled (believe me, this is a real thing) and then down Demi falls to her death.
Is Super Cloudbuilt a bad game? No! Is it a good game? Yes. I just can’t decide if I like it or not.
- Brilliantly thought out concept.
- Fast paced run jump and shoot gameplay.
- I felt like Sonic with a gun.
- Cell shading graphics doesn’t necessarily work for the game.
- Due to the controls the gunplay just doesn’t work.
- I can’t move slowly, at all!
Family Focus – Super Cloudbuilt
As of writing, no rating for Super Cloudbuilt has been revealed, although the base game, which came out a few years ago, was ESRB rated E For Everyone, and PEGI 12. It is a pretty tame game, which should be fine for most of the family.
Disclaimer: This review is based on a review code of the game provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.