And by that, I of course mean that it kinda vaguely reminds me of Mirror’s Edge – which is the highest praise I can give to just about anything with a running component, upward motion, or legs. Cloudbuilt is, however, also quite fond of the good old days before 3D graphics and gravity were invented, so double-jumping, air-dashing, and wall-running add some 16-bit flair to your fancy modern hop ‘n’ boppery. Basically, though, even a brief glimpse – which you’ll be able to glimpse briefly if you head southward of the break – has the part of my brain that’s faultily wired to salivate in relation to games instead of food doing its horrendously counterproductive thing.
And oh do the actual nitty gritty specifics of gameplay – you know, beyond “go real fast wheeeeeeeeee” – sound promising. For instance, there’s this bit:
“Practice is a central theme of Cloudbuilt. Many modern games seem not to trust you with its potential until you’ve gained its trust, and therefore spoon-feed you new abilities over the course of the game. Cloudbuilt lets you play with all skills from the moment you begin. You won’t need to master them all right away, but to complete the game and beat the records for each level you will be challenged to use what you’ve learned in creative ways. If you feel that the head-shaped hole in the wall is getting to deep there are usually multiple levels unlocked at any time to choose from.”
Meanwhile, Cloudbuilt’s trying to steer clear of hyper-linear paths as much as possible, so there are multiple ways around each obstacle. Developer Coilworks notes that players might even discover “some that we don’t know of yet.” I very much like the sound of that. Also, it all takes place inside the head of a gravely injured future war vet, so my brain is making the perilous conclusion-jump into Psychonauts territory.
So, in short, Cloudbuilt vaguely reminds me of some other really great games, yet looks (and probably plays) absolutely nothing like them, while still managing to seem tremendously promising in its own right. Unfortunately, there’s no release date at the moment, but I’m looking extremely forward to seeing more.