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Clones Review

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by GamingSavant, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. GamingSavant

    GamingSavant
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    Clones
    Platform: PC
    Price: $9.99 via Steam
    [​IMG]
    Similar to Lemmings but with a lot more options.​

    Gameplay:
    In Clones you have to escort these mindless but colorful beings through levels by making all their choices for them. By issuing commands, you make them maneuver through, doing things like burrowing, flying, and floating. You are either issued a certain amount of commands at the beginning of each level, or you have to collect actions while traversing each level, adding another element of strategy.

    Your goal is to get a predetermined amount of clones safely from the beginning to the end of each course. Some actions will destroy a single clone though. For example, if you need to get over a hole, you can disintegrate a clone and he will break apart into small particles that cover it. Death from falling or getting stuck in traps will also result in clone loss.

    [​IMG]
    Safety first.

    Despite its cute appearance, the game’s quite difficult. I had a hard time remembering to do things to the clones that were five or six back from the leader. You are able to queue up actions when the clones are just walking, but sometimes there's not enough time to do this in the middle of a level. To issue commands you have to select each clone and choose an action from the available list. I felt it would have been nice to have the option of being able to set a spot on the terrain where the clones could walk over that would trigger a command so I didn't have to keep going back and choosing the same action for each of them. Issuing commands also becomes a problem when a lot of clones get compressed into a small area.

    The main story, or Pilgrimage mode, is where all the action lies. Over 150 different courses are available, a few at a time, that ramp up in difficulty as they introduce more content. Some levels are simple races from beginning to end but others become competitions against a computer opponent to clear the level more efficiently with fewer deaths.

    Also included is the option to play online tournaments. In the online mode, you will compete against other people to see who can complete the level faster and who can make it with more survivors. Each time I looked I was able to find a few different games available, and I was looking in the morning. Games with overseas competitors featured a little lag, but this isn't a twitch-reaction FPS, so the latency was hardly a problem.

    [​IMG]
    The online matches interface.

    The extras menu is really expansive for an indie game. Included are a level editor, replays, and a package creator. The level editor is exactly what it says, you are able to change existing levels or create one from scratch. This feature is really easy to use too, with tons of custom objects and options. The replays area is also pretty self-explanatory. Every time you play through a level, a replay is saved. Want to show someone how you were able to beat a really hard level? You can! And the package creator is a way to group together a bunch of levels, much like the groups in the story mode.

    After about 6 hours and right around the game's halfway point, I got to a point where I was stuck. All the levels available to me were too difficult for me to finish. If I had kept at it, I'm sure I would eventually figure them out but for the time I would need to invest and the little reward I'd get from doing it, I decided this was a nice place to stop.

    Graphics & Audio:
    The graphics are cute and simple with bright colors and large objects. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish which parts of the landscape are in the foreground and which are from the terrain though.

    Audio is good, with music that doesn't repeat enough to notice and sound effects that are fun and engaging.

    Replay value:
    The replay value is almost non-existent. There are floating orbs in each level that can be collected, but they're pretty easy to get for anyone trying. Even if you're not trying, you'll still end up getting most of them. Other than that, the only reason I could see for trying again would be to get a faster time along with Steam achievements.

    Overall:
    Looking at Clones from a lot of angles, it's hard to find a lot of major problems. All of my issues are minor enough that they don't really affect the game enough to make it unplayable, just annoying. The length and amount of extras bring it up, but the way you issue commands could have been slightly improved which bring down the experience.

    Pros:
    +Length, over 150 levels
    +A lot of extras

    Cons:
    -Utilization of the clones' abilities
    -Difficulty scales up too fast
    -Clone stacking, too many clones in a small area, makes it hard to give them commands
    -Sometimes hard to distinguish foreground items from terrain

    Clones mindlessly strolls away with a 7/10. A demo is available on both Steam and the official website over at http://clonesgame.com/download-demo

    A review copy was used to evaluate the game.
     

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