Cloudberry Kingdom Review — Xbox 360 (XBLA)
It's awesome to see Kickstarter titles thrive. Cloudberry Kingdom offers randomized levels that are beautifully assembled to create one of the most entertaining platformers this year. Be prepared to have your brain folded into an origami pelican.
There was sure to be a valiant hero in a place called Cloudberry Kingdom. Meet Bob — voiced by Kevin Sorbo — the day-saver by trade ready to rescue the princess from the clutches of… oh, who cares! There’s way too much fun here to layout the paper thin storyline.
Bob is a man of many talents and forms. Classic Bob is the default selection that lets players unlock other playable Bob characters. The basic playable Bob is great, but pales in comparison to some of the other unlocks. Fat Bob, Tiny Bob, Double Jump (Bob with wings): each offers the player a different way to traverse the Cloudberry Kingdom.
Throughout each level, Bob needs to pick up crystals for different reasons. Sometimes it’s to add time back onto the clock or to increase extra lives. In other levels it's to boost the score, increase Player Level, and climb the leaderboards. The most important thing about the crystals is that it gives the player a sort of subtle map on how to get through each level.
Cloudberry Kingdom is unique in that it offers the player randomly generated levels. Each time a player begins a playable mode, they have a new gameplay experience. It’s a great idea in theory, and it’s executed on a phenomenal level. The biggest concern with randomly generated platform levels is the possibility of an unbeatable or broken level. In my countless hours spent in Cloudberry Kingdom, I have encountered no such level! There aren’t too many boring or repetitive levels either. Most of the simpler levels are used as starter levels or pace breaks thanks to the learning curve. It’s an amazing experience that provides a ridiculous amount of truly addictive replay.
As if all the playable Bobs weren’t awesome enough, Cloudberry Kingdom offers up some side scrolling action with a playable spaceship character that makes the player dodge the normally cherished platforms in each level.
The only conceivable gripe about a title with never-ending levels is that the players miss out on reliving those unreasonably difficult ones. Luckily, the game introduces the ability to save and replay any generated levels. Catch some crazy level and replay it later to show friends it really was redonkulous.
Jump into Free Play, Story Mode, and The Arcade for different objectives. The Arcade offers Escalation, Time Crisis Hero Rush, and Hybrid Rush. Escalation is a great place to start because it eases the player into the game's harder levels. Time Crisis is self-explanatory. The real fun begins with Hero Rush and Hybrid Rush. After the player earns enough Cloudberry Kingdom street cred (Player Level), these Rush levels unlock. The player must go through the time crisis mode and deal with a different kind of Bob on every stage.
Hybrid Rush is similar with the added difficulty of multiple Bob types at once. For example, be Fat Bob with a jetpack. The only time Bob fails to impress is Phase Bob (he changes in and out of super lightweight and giant versions). Phase Bob isn't as compelling as most of the other Bob types. Whereas Hero in a Box Bob is unique and challenging, Phase Bob just feels like it could’ve been cut out.
Once the player jumps into their chosen mode, they’re treated with a respectable selection of customizable skins, colors, and graphics. Give Bob a fiery head, ninja black suit, or deer antlers. They’re all cosmetic, but it personalizes the player’s Bob (more important when it comes to multiplayer) and lets the player in on the fun before the game even loads.
Presentation – Meet Bob: jump, Bob, jump
Optimization – Incredibly precise platform that handles like the best of them
Ingenuity – New platforming elements combined with countless gameplay modes and the level generator makes Cloudberry Kingdom a truly ingenious creation
Sound – Awesome and engaging soundtrack, and Kevin Sorbo adds some hardcore cheese to Bob’s paperosity.
Entertainment – Supremely addicting is an understatement; level generator keeps every playthrough fresh
Cloudberry Kingdom pulls out all the stops to provide gamers with an addictive platformer experience. There are only a few hiccups in an otherwise awesome XBLA experience that ranges from hearty laughter to mind-numbing difficulty. Calling Cloudberry Kingdom supremely addicting is an understatement. Unless you're not into difficult platform titles, it's easy to say this is an XBLA must-have.
GamerCheese Final Score: 4.5/5