Monday, October 15, 2012

Cloud


In my recent review of Journey Collector's Edition, I mention that the package lacks Cloud, the first game made by the founders of Thatgamecompany. Soon after posting it, I decided I had some time to actually play the game and see what I think of it. After downloading the game from its hosting site (thatcloudgame.com should do the trick if you're curious), I found myself enjoying the experience ahead of me.

In Cloud, you take the role of a boy who has been hospitalized. During his time there, he often dreams about the clouds he sees just outside the window. During his dreams are where you take control, with the ability to manipulate the clouds as he floats in the sky. This includes such actions as the ability to not only gather clouds together, but also shape them into a desired form, such as a lollipop. You can also use the lighter clouds under your control to eliminate darker clouds, creating a rain effect, at the cost of  a portion of your gathering of clouds. If you have any trouble absorbing a larger cloud, you also have the option to absorb clouds and then release them to form a new cloud, expanding either sideways while moving or upwards by staying still, forming a taller cloud for further gathering. If this sounds familiar in any way, the experience is sort of like Katamari Damacy, but executed differently.

The cutscenes of Cloud are simply stunning. Each one is comprised of a pan over two or three beautifully made paintings that perfectly capture the mood of each of the four main stages. (There are also extra stages available to extend the replay value.) The music is also excellently done, creating a dream-like, happy atmosphere. This also serves as a perfect contrast to the rain created when trying to eliminate darker clouds.

Cloud is, like the games formed after Thatgamecompany's founding, simple but engaging. If you are a fan of the aforementioned company and want to see the roots of it, this is a game for you to check out. If you are not a fan of Thatgamecompany, this probably isn't for you.

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