It’s every developer’s dream to make a blockbuster title that has potential to become a giant among giants. Icon titles like Tetris, Super Mario, Zelda, Pokémon, and Angry Birds are names that are so easily recognizable to recent generations and upon closer inspection, have one more thing in common: the quality of being an original platformer. There are plenty of applications to be found in the App Store that aimed right between the bull’s eyes to join the higher ranks, but didn’t quite hit their mark. A Cloudy Adventure is one such indie game that fits that description, but is still a likable product nonetheless. Read on for the full review.
In this title, players take control of Nim and Bus, two friends of Cloudy. You see, Cloudy is a baby cloud, and isn’t quite able to float around on his own yet. Nim is a handsome young red block that has the wind in his lungs that it takes to push cloudy forward, and Bus is a nerdy block that can blow steam out of the top of his head to launch Cloudy up into the air where he belongs. As you’d assume (sarcastically speaking, of course), Cloudy loves his bouncing red ball, but he keeps loosing it, and is lucky enough to have two friends that can help him get it back. The main objective of the game is to reunite Cloudy with his ball by utilizing the capabilities of Nim and Bus.
Some levels require buttons to be pressed to reach the bouncy ball.
The gameplay requires players to drag Nim and Bus around in any way that they see fit for the level at hand. It’s a simple concept and is easy to use in the early levels, but blowing on clouds soon becomes a difficult task to do once you start to deal with moving platforms, blue Trollio blocks, and the evil, orange Cheddar bandits that can be seen in the first two screenshots.
I personally did not find the gameplay to be particularly fun because while A Cloudy Adventure brings original gameplay to the table, there is little room for expansion or variation with the current system at hand. The only things that can happen are to cloudy are that he can forward, up and down, and on some occasions, left. It would have been nice to see more buttons and other puzzle features, or the addition of timers or enemies in order to add depth to the gameplay.
As a secondary objective, there are three cheddar wheels to be found floating around for Cloudy to collect in each level. They aren’t difficult to find because the bandits pop their heads out every once in a while, but can be quite frustrating to collect because while Nim has the capability to push Cloudy forward (to the right), the only way to get Cloudy back (to the left) is by being forced back by a beat from one of the grey character blocks that can be seen in the second screenshot. I found myself restarting some levels more than a dozen times to try to reach the cheese.
While difficulty can be a definite plus to any sort of gameplay, it seems that in A Cloudy Adventure the suitable amount of difficulty was surpassed. I found myself frustrated on at least a couple of levels because of the perfection that is sometimes required on levels in order to pass them, let alone collect the cheddar wheels. On top of that, I felt that the game would have been much better off if it had incorporated some sort of puzzle-solving quality, for each level is easy enough for a toddler to understand. As it stands, the game is a great game for younger children who are looking for an adorable and simple adventure.
It’s sometimes a relief to see one of these popups, for many of the levels are quite difficult.
The menus are simple enough to navigate and are pleasing to the eye.
The graphics of A Cloudy Adventure fall into the “adorable” category. There are playful colors, shining eyes, cute smiles- you catch the drift. Even the icon is the most adorable one I’ve seen so far. Designed at Retina resolution, all images are crisp, clear, and vibrant. The menus are simple enough, with at most four navigational choices on any one menu, along with a two small buttons to disable either sounds and music from the game. A well-thought out design to the game seems to make up for what the gameplay was lacking and allows the game to be enjoyed more thoroughly than it would have without such a likable system.
Upon entrance into the app, a light, dainty theme plays in the background. There are no complaints to be made here, as the sound is crisp and clear. The piece is also undeniably pleasant and befitting to the overall theme that the game aims to create. When tapped, the light-blue menu blocks make popping noises that one might find in plenty of other iOS games, although they are slightly distorted upon closer listening.
Upon entrance into the gameplay, things change. The song that plays in the background switches to one that greatly differs from that of the menus in the sense that while it is of the same length of time, it seems to be much less organized than the first. A clicking noise that is heard in the song cannot be discerned between a backing MIDI drum track or crackling noises from distortion.
Sound effects in the game are limited in quantity. Nim and Bus make noises once per level when they are activated, Cloudy whines the same whine whenever he is blown by either of his friends, and the cheddar bandits shriek when discovered. Although it was not necessarily a distraction to have such a limited supply of audio, it certainly would have made the game more enjoyable had there been more.
As explained earlier, A Cloudy Adventure offers secondary goals in the form of cheese collecting. Somewhat hidden throughout each level are three cheese bandits, from whom players collect cheese wheels as an added level of difficulty. The system is similar to the star system found in Cut the Rope, however the cheese wheels of A Cloudy Adventureare less difficult to collect.
Also featured is unlockable content for Nim and Bus to wear. Mustaches, monocles, and beards make the characters even more adorable, but add little to the replay value. Unlockable costume pieces are given as rewards for the collecting of cheese wheels, like new beards and hairstyles. In my opinion, however, the rewards for collecting the cheddar wheels are not worth the time spent, and could have been something like special in-game abilities like stronger blows from Nim and Bus instead.
Coming in with only 30 levels in three worlds, A Cloudy Adventure has very limited gameplay time. Had their sights been set on it, someone could have beat the entire game in around an hour. Even at $0.99, the game is narrowly worth the money when you consider that there are other applications available that last much longer and are overall more successful in categories like graphics, gameplay, and replay value.
Although an undeniably adorable game, I found A Cloudy Adventure to feel as though it were a bit rushed. While at first enjoyable, I began to see during my testing that the gameplay could and should have been made more complex with an addition of other gameplay elements seen in other games of the touchscreen-platformer genre. Still, it’s a great game for those looking to find a quickie while waiting in line or wasting time on a lazy day at home.