Cloudberry Kingdom (PS3, Wii U, 360, PC)

CLOUDBERRY_BOXThis game is famous for being a successful kickstarter funded program and was picked up by large publisher Ubisoft. It’s a straight-up, no-nonsense 2-D platformer downloadable for the three major home game consoles and PC (PS3 version reviewed here). But the twist is that the short levels are randomly generated, and adjust the difficulty based on your skill level.

In the game, you play as a bald, bearded super hero guy, but you can change how your character looks so it doesn’t really matter. In each short stage you’ll have to run and jump to avoid pits, spikes, swinging maces, lasers, and more. Sometimes you’ll automatically get a power-up that affects your controls, such as double jump wings, jetpacks, or being attached to a giant rolling wheel. Collect gems to earn points and extra lives.

There are several modes that you can choose from. In Arcade Mode you have a set number of lives to try and reach the highest level and score as possible. In Story Mode, run though levels as you attempt to save a princess. And in Free Play, adjust parameters to play and make levels exactly how you want them. You can even save randomly generated levels to play later on, and up to four players can try each mode simultaneously.

The play control feels a little loose, but once you get used to it, it’s not so bad. Even though the levels are randomly generated by the player’s skill level, the game can still be pretty difficult. So only 2-D platforming fans who enjoy challenges just for the sake of being challenging will enjoy this one.


Kid Factor:

Cloudberry Kingdom is rated T for Teen for Fantasy Violence, Suggestive Themes, and Crude Humor. Which is surprising because I’d be OK with nearly any kid playing this. If you or an enemy gets hit, they just disappear in a cloud of smoke. I guess the Suggestive Themes and Crude Humor come from the Story Mode, but I didn’t see anything myself other than enemies make fart noises when you stomp them. Reading skill is helpful for the menus and younger gamers and less experienced players may get frustrated at the difficulty, even if the game does adjust to your skill level.

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