The world is a hectic and fast-paced place. No one has time for anyone else, and you can easily feel lost. Subsequently, it’s tempting to drop what you are doing and search for a simpler existence. I think this is what makes games like Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing oh so appealing. They sell a vision of a wonderfully relaxed lifestyle in a cute and colourful way. Therefore, I’m never shocked when I see new titles that are heavily influenced by their magic. Clouzy is one such game that aims to win over its audience with an unusual theme and sickly cute graphics.
Developed by Tinymoon and published by Freedom Games, this is an adventure farming simulation. It offers stress-free action and a never-ending list of quests to complete. Furthermore, there are some simple puzzles to overcome, and a loose story to enjoy. I loved the freedom to explore the moderate-sized map and the unusual inclusion of pet clouds. It won’t be for everyone, but fans of the genre are bound to fall for its unusual charms.
Clouzy is bizarre.
I’m all for a strange theme and unusual happenings, but Clouzy is just bizarre. The game opens like many of its peers. You are given a basic tutorial and then you set to work. So far, so good, that is until you are introduced to your first cloud. Now, I haven’t got anything against these rain carriers, per se. But in this setting, it’s just odd. You are tasked with cleaning, healing, and appeasing each one. You’ll have to cure illnesses, reduce their anger, make them less nervous, and so forth. The cures are found around the island or by concocting an array of meals or drinks. As I said, it’s bloody bizarre.
You control a farmer who runs a smallholding in the middle of a quaint archipelago. This minuscule piece of land must be upgraded and improved to complete every quest on offer. Like Harvest Moon or Animal Crossing, you must help the surrounding islanders by completing jobs, finding items, and exploring ruins and dungeons. However, unlike the aforementioned titles, there is a distinct lack of depth within the progression elements. Yes, you can upgrade equipment, get new recipes, and more, but it quickly plateaus. Consequently, once you reach the top and you exhaust the main storyline, there is little else to do.
Abilities and crafting.
Where Clouzy excels is its drip-fed abilities and crafting elements. The adventure aspect of the gameplay expands as your pet learns new skills. Subsequently, the small world opens up once you complete puzzles and find dramatic landmarks. It was wonderful to revisit old areas as you were empowered with the ability to jump, could overcome cold temperatures and more. The larger world had plenty of collectables to find and an array of new ingredients to harvest. Moreover, you’ll discover chests with costumes, furniture, and special items.
The crafting mechanic forms a key component of the gameplay as every task relies on recipes, new equipment, and different ingredients. Consequently, you had to scavenge an awful lot of goods if you wished to complete each task. Cooking foods and blending drinks were completed through a simple mini-game, and this was a little disappointing. I wish the developers had made this more complex to increase the challenge. Sadly, this wasn’t to be and as such, you’ll tire of it quickly.
Repetitive gameplay and many bugs.
Clouzy undoes much of its greatness because of its repetitive and buggy gameplay. Sadly, after a few hours, it becomes pretty tiresome. Unlike its peers, there is a lack of custom options and this reduces your sense of ownership. As you are searching and finding new items, it feels exciting and enjoyable. However, a lack of direction or hints stagnates progress very quickly. I’m not one for hand-holding, but absolutely no indication of what to do was a poor choice. Subsequently, I wasted hours expecting the quests to guide me, whereas all I had to do was to explore to stumble upon the solution.
This is compounded further because of the long list of bugs I encountered. Fortunately, most were annoying and not game-breaking, but they ruined the finish, nonetheless. First, I experienced the cinematic replaying every time I reloaded the game. Second, the tutorial repeated itself numerous times even though I didn’t initiate it. Third, my pet would become stuck on objects, ignore me completely, or I’d be blocked by its presence. Lastly, clouds in the pet area would simply vanish, never to be seen again. As mentioned, these weren’t game-breaking, but they were poor nonetheless.
Clouzy is cute as a button.
The developers have pushed the envelope to create a sickly sweet title. Subsequently, Clouzy is as cute as a button. Your character is larger than life and has soft doe eyes. This adds to the innocence and childlike qualities the genre is renowned for. Furthermore, the clouds have a unique appearance that matches their personality and ailments. I loved the attention to detail and the vivid colour palette. It was magical to explore the variety of landscapes because of the mellow approach and bizarre imagery.
The relaxed and calm atmosphere is enhanced by the soft piano music. Slow songs match each location you visit and play on a continual loop. This repetitive approach created a familiar and serene experience, but it was also tiresome. Unfortunately, Tinymoon got this wrong as their delightful and wholesome soundtrack quickly becomes tedious.
Messed up controls.
Clouzy gives the impression of a game designed for PC. Sadly, this is because the controls are clunky and cumbersome when using a controller. Attempting to move items or collect objects was challenging and not very user-friendly. Annoyingly, if you had stacks of items to transfer, the default setting is all or nothing. Therefore, you’ll be unnecessarily moving your inventory back and forth during every interaction. This issue detracts from the crafting mechanics and leads to unwanted frustration.
The genre is renowned for sucking people in for hours. Clouzy, on the other hand, will not! Yes, there is plenty to do, a reasonable amount of recipes to cook and unlimited tasks, but these won’t test you. Sadly, this won’t grab your attention and this affects both the reply value and longevity.
Clouzy could have been great.
From the opening, you could see Clouzy’s potential. The developers pushed for a cute and laidback adventure and that’s what you get. Sadly, however, it never really develops, and this impacts its appeal and depth. Despite its shortcomings, I enjoyed it casually and recommend that you buy it here! Can you nurse each cloud back to full health? Scout the landscape, find ingredients and complete each task you face.