By John Walker on March 5th, 2010 at 11:03 am.
The demo for adventure game Clover, by Binary Tweed, is out now. I’ve been playing the full game for a short while, and shall have some more thoughts about it for you next week. Meanwhile, have a quick explanation and some first impressions.
It’s a side-scrolling 2D adventure, which is played rather like a platform game in many respects. Your character can jump, for instance, with a few areas reached only by making leaps. However, it’s primarily an adventure, with puzzles based around correctly using objects in certain places. The difference is you can only hold a limited number of the many interactive items at a time. At the start you can carry only two, then later a third “bag” becomes available. This means hoarding items in a particular area, then taking those you think appropriate to the right place.
You can get arrested for loitering where you shouldn’t oughta, which takes you to the prison area, although thankfully there’s no tiresome escape-from-the-cell task to complete. A lot of people will chat with you, and in doing so offer hints about what you should be doing next.
My concerns are mostly about the presentation. The jumping isn’t particularly great – not glitchy, more slightly clumsy – the game doesn’t feel suited to it. And while this is perhaps a personal thing, the art style – a deliberately hand-drawn look – is mostly very lovely, but the characters themselves look a little too much like doodles from the back of a maths exercise book. (It seems way too mean to say they remind me of a certain geek comic’s drawings, as they’re not nearly that bad, but they sort of do remind me.)
So get the demo and generate your own thoughts. You can’t have me do everything.