BADGP Reviews: Cloudberry Kingdom

Cloudberry Kingdom ( Pwnee Studios/Ubisoft)

Released: July 30/31, 2013

December 27, 2013

Brock Morgan

Review: Cloudberry Kingdom? More like Dingleber…. No. Nope, can’t do it.

What’s Cloudberry Kingdom all about?

Well, it’s a platformer developed by Pwnee Studios (their first effort), published by Ubisoft, and released on the Xbox 360 Live Arcade, Playstation Network, and Steam, among other platforms. It’s a platformer, and it utilizes an algorithm designed to randomly generate game levels by using various difficulty sliders (amounts of certain obstacles, length of jumps, strength of gravity, number of players, whether those players are bound together by rope, number of lasers that can instantly kill you, how long you want the level to be, how many checkpoints you want to include, how fast the player character can move, whether the player character is actually a ship from a side-scrolling shooter game, etc…)and lets you play them nearly infinitely. Throw in a Story Mode (with a terrible “story”) that contains literally hundreds and hundreds of levels, a level editor with the aforementioned sliders, a replay function to capture your insane paths through crazy levels, and a hint system to show you safe paths or play extremely hard levels for you, and you get Cloudberry Kingdom.

That sounds great! Sign me up!

Not so fast…

Wait, what?

Yeah, you haven’t gotten to the bad part yet.

Which is?

The part where you play it. Like, at all.

Ah. Explain.

Well, I love to concept at play in Cloudberry Kingdom. It’s a platformer fan’s dream! Infinite levels, and a ton of ways to play through them! It’s incredible! But the one thing the game needs from that point is that it has to feel good to play. The character in Cloudberry Kingdom handles so poorly and jumps so stiffly and moves so slowly that when you die, you often die wishing that you had just a bit more control, just a bit more agency over how the character moves. Because the character moves so slowly, the algorithm that generates levels often calculates the necessary movements to complete a level in such a way that you must never stop moving or miss a jump in order to get through some of the tougher levels the game can throw at you. When a game demands utter perfection and gives you really poor tools with which to accomplish perfection, all it offers the player is frustration.

Hmmm.

Yeah, I don’t recommend picking up Cloudberry Kingdom. If you want a punishing, yet fair platformer, go pick up the utterly brilliant Super Meat Boy, one of my personal favorites, and one that does not want in any way for content. If you can get Cloudberry Kingdom on a good sale, then maybe try it out, because the concept is wonderful, but otherwise, stay away.

Can do!

BADGP Score: 2.5

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