cloudberry1

The Game That Does Not Forgive

By Julie Morley

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Each level couple of levels will have a different design and environment.
Each level couple of levels will have a different design and environment.

“No, why?”

“D’oh!”

“COME ON, I was SO CLOSE.”

Generally some phrases that I was yelling at my computer screen, but with the addition of obscenities and profane language. What has me so worked up, you wonder? I’m glad you inquired, at least someone other than my therapist asks how I feel  about things.

Cloudberry Kingdom took me by surprise the first time I gave it a go. Initially, the impression you gather of the game is that of a typical side-scroller. Simple, just a few platforms to hop on and a few things to dodge. Relatively easy, you figure? Oh, was I ever so wrong.

For every couple of levels, the challenge on your character changes. In this case, a wheel.
For every couple of levels, the challenge on your character changes. In this case, a wheel.

You are in for a ride, friends.

You begin with the character, Bob. He’s a swell guy, likes to go on adventures and wear capes. But he takes an interest in being fashionable. Feel like playing the game with his head on fire? Done. Fancy a giant beard? Done. Want to be an invisible head wearing a cape? Doubtful that I am the only one.

Now one of the many beauties of this game is the different options regarding gameplay. Feel like following a story? You’ve got it. What about the content? I want it to be never-ending! Once again, the player lucks out in the Story Mode department. There are seven different chapters to swim through, all of which have forty levels to play and none of them are the same. 

In arcade mode, test out different challenges such as beating the levels under a timer.
In arcade mode, test out different challenges such as beating the levels under a timer.

But if you are completely fed up with Story Mode, no need to fret, you have other options: Arcade Mode and Freeplay. Arcade mode has four different options, each implementing a challenge to push the player to work on their level and score. That’s right, good ‘ol leaderboards. Compete against people from all over the world.

Psst. There’s already someone who’s nearly reached two million as their score. Just saying.

Now is when things get sillier: free play mode. Here, you get to decide just what kind of nightmare you want to agonize in. Location, game style, what accessory you want added onto your character to control  gameplay (double jumps, a jetpack, a spaceship), difficulty (ranging from Customizable to Hardcore), and lastly, marvelous checkpoints.

Max out everything. Why not?
Max out everything. Why not?

Customize the difficulty, you say? Such madness you speak of. You’re right. It is madness. And it most certainly was madness when I maxed out every single obstacle for my level. It had to be one of the most hilarious and awesome things I’ve ever witnessed. There was literally no open space remaining.

When it comes to gameplay, you’ll rely heavily on trial and error. Often, Bob explodes or falls off your map completely. It’s okay. Rage, broken keyboards, and frequent sobbing sessions in your closet are common side-effects.

Cloudberry Kingdom is far from punishing. It prides itself on meticulous level design to test your patience. Each gem reached and every obstacle averted is rewarding. There’s a great sense of accomplishment in meeting the end of the level. I just want to get it right, already!

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Julie Morley
Julie Morley is a freelance writer and comic artist from Spring, Texas. She attended the Academy of Art University for two years, studying Animation and Illustration. Whilst here, she learned about writing comic scripts, storyboards, and general storytelling. Since leaving college, she has been working on personal comic projects, stories, and illustrations. She aspires to release a self published comic within two years. For the majority of her life, she has been playing console games, typically being third-person shooters and sandboxes. Her favorite game of existence is Dark Cloud II (Dark Chronicle) and her favorite Indie game is Gone Home.
Julie Morley