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Game Info:

Cloudbuilt
Developed by: Coilworks
Published by: Rising Star Games
Release Date: March 20, 2014
Genre:Runner/Puzzle
Number of Players: Single-Player
ESRB Rating: E 10+ for fantasy Violence
Price: $19.99

Thank you Rising Star Games for sending us this game to review!

A young girl is in a hospital room looking pretty banged up.  You play as her consciousness and get to explore the remains of the sky city, Cloudbuilt, to piece together what happened.  There’s not much left and you’ll have to jump across many ruins and land safely or fall to your doom.  To assist in wall running and high jumps, there’s a handy jet pack, but it has a limited amount of energy.  Use it wisely!  The heroine, Demi,  is also armed with an energy gun for dispatching deadly turrets and robots.

Cloudbuilt is best described as a 3D parkour puzzle game.  There are multiple ways to get to the end of a level, but can you get there fast enough to earn a place on the leader board? You won’t find my name there anytime soon as I am so bad at this game that I’m happy enough to just complete a level!  

Highlights:

Strong Points: Beautiful visuals and pumping soundtrack; challenging and fast paced gameplay
Weak Points: Glitchy user interface; game crashed to desktop; controls better suited for a controller, but that is not an option (yet!)
Moral Warnings: Mild violence as your character may land on spikes or gets fired on by turrets

Unfortunately, the controls take some getting used to and would be better suited for a game pad.  The standard WASD keys are used for directional movement while the mouse controls the camera.  The mouse buttons are used for charging up and firing her gun.  The shift keys boost the jet pack and the left control button will make Demi let go and drop if needed.   

The tutorials are helpful and will teach you how to use and master the wall running techniques.  The tutorial levels also spoil you with lots of checkpoints.  While there are a couple of checkpoints per level, I wish there were more of them.  The levels are brutally difficult to complete and makes me wish there was a quick save feature.  The jumping is relatively easy, but when you have to do wall jumps combined with deadly spikes, things get pretty hairy fast.  

There are no multiple difficulty levels, so if you’re not a patient person, this game is not meant for you.  Cloudbuilt not only makes Sonic games look easy, they also seem slow paced.  Then again, Sonic doesn’t wear a jetpack.  

Cloudbuilt
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 76%
Gameplay -14/20
Graphics - 10/10
Sound - 10/10
Stability - 3/5
Controls - 1/5

Morality Score - 96%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Cloudbuilt has stunning cel shaded visuals with colorful and detailed maps.  There are multiple paths to take and danger lurks around every corner.  Unfortunately it took a lot of effort to get this game to properly display on my 27” LCD.  The graphical menu system was broken and would not let me easily  toggle the windowed/full screen modes or set the resolution to my native 2560x1440.  After some trial and guesswork, I was able to play this game in full screen mode.    I also experienced a crash to my desktop.  There have been a few patches released for this game and one for controller support is rumored to come out.  I look forward to that!

The sound track is mostly energetic and fitting for the fast paced action of this game.  There are some somber piano tracks too.   If you like the music, the .ogg files are in the game’s sound directory.   You can listen to or buy the sound track from Jacob Lincke’s bandcamp site too.  

 While Cloudbuild is tame enough for children to play, it’s extremely difficult and I recommend they stick to Sonic games.  If you’re an incredibly patient and competitive gamer, I recommend looking into this game.  I wish there was a demo available, but sadly there is not.  The $19.99 asking price is reasonable, but I recommend waiting for a Steam sale (and controller support!) if you’re undecided.

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About Us:

Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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