Sunday, April 6, 2014

PC Spotlight #87: Cloudbuilt

Title: Cloudbuilt
Developer: Coilworks
Platforms: PC
Price:  $19.99
I've been looking forward to Cloudbuilt since I previewed the game and interviewed its developers last year. The rocket-powered precision platformer is now out on Steam and it definitely lives up to its promise of hard-as-nails freeform speedrunning.
Personally, more than even the gameplay, the most impressive aspect of Cloudbuilt is its visuals. The vibrant colors and hues mixed with the sketched style gives the levels a rugged textured atmosphere, that's just a joy to explore. But the gameplay is the star here and in that aspect, Cloudbuilt does not disappoint. Each level is a network of walls and platforms and ramps, that through practice and improving your skills, reveals better, faster routes. You will die. You will overshoot jumps, and get shot down by turrets, and slide off into the abyss, but like Dark Souls, each death is a learning experience and a new chance to become a better player and learn the levels. There are no upgrades to acquire; you already have all your abilities from the start. Only through practice can you shave off seconds and decipher faster paths from the open environments. If mastering the levels themselves wasn't difficult enough, the game also offers special modifiers that present new challenges, from unlimited boost to no gun to damage equals a restart. These modifiers subtly mix up the gameplay, and require you to refine your routes.
Cloudbuilt's controls and camera may take some time to get used to, but after acclimating to the controls, I found them to be precise and responsive. While the repetitive nature of speedrunning and replaying levels to find faster routes and attain better times may not appeal to everyone, Cloudbuilt is a fantastic addition to the 3D platforming genre, thanks to its impressive visuals and gameplay. You can purchase Cloudbuilt on Steam.

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