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Cloud Kingdoms

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Written by Lorenzo

November 24, 2001
Comments

Ok, so here is the plot: Terry is a little, eight-way scrolling rubber ball who lives in a peaceful kingdom over the clouds. This kingdom is filled with crystals and Terry has nothing better to do than scroll around and look at these crystals all day. One day a nasty fiend, for some reason, decides that he can't stand Terry's lifestyle and steals all of the crystals from Terry's kingdom. Terry gets quite upset about this and decides to get them back. Now tell me if this isn't the most stupid plot ever! Surely those guys at Millennium didn't have much imagination...


Graphics

Big, bold, colourful sprites & backgrounds, and a smooth scrolling. Nothing really special anyway, and the menu at the bottom is too big, filling a large part of the screen. After all, it gives the impression of a Commodore 64 game ported to a 16 bit computer, and it loses some of its original charm...


Sound

A couple of average chip tunes, and sparse fx.


Gameplay

Well, the plot really sucks, but the game itself is wonderful, an under rated little gem who didn't get the success it deserved. There are more than 20 levels in which you struggle to get your little crystals back; Things aren't very easy, there's a strict time limit for each level, and little annoying billiard balls and bugs such as insects (not programming faults) that can take off some of your energy. Again, don't forget that you're a rubber ball filled with air, and therefore things like acid and fire can hurt you quite a lot.


Each level is really peculiar and has its own strategies: for example, in Chase Kingdom you're chased by bugs on a magnetic track leading to the crystals; you can't jump to avoid the nasties and you have to be quick and pay attention not to fall off the track. In Unseen Kingdom the walls are invisible and you move around trying to find a path to the crystals. In Ice Kingdom you' ll be sliding and bouncing around all the time, and so on...


This is NOT an easy game. It looks like an improved version of "Quedex", an old 8-bit milestone by Stavros Fasoulas, one of the toughest C64 games ever; you' ll need a great deal of dexterity with your joystick to get at least halfway in the game.


Conclusion

Probably one of the most underrated games in history, Cloud Kingdoms was by far my favourite C64 game, and one of the best platform games I've ever seen. The ST version doesn' t look as good as the C64 one, but it' s still very playable and addictive, and it also features a few more levels. Definitely worth a try.






Score
  • Graphics: 6
  • Sound: 6
  • Gameplay: 8
  • Overall: 7

Review Comments

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Blood Money

April 4, 2020 by Morcar

Graphically, it's also nice on the eyes with well-defined graphics and animation. You really get the feeling that the developers put some thought and love into the game. Remember what I said about the large levels? Well these are wonderful and are very different to each other, they also scroll fairly smooth in all four directions.

Cybernoid - The Fighting Machine

March 28, 2020 by Morcar

When you boot up the game you’re presented with a fantastic loading picture of your ship. It's detailed with bold colours and it tells you This is 16-bit, bitch. Then you get the wonderful rendition of the Cybernoid theme that's on all the 8-bit versions. It's not exact but the changes still make it noticeable to anyone who knows it.

Live And Let Die

January 13, 2019 by ST Graveyard

Now all of this might sound a bit much, but that really is not the biggest problem with Live and Let Die. In Buggy Boy you had checkpoints to reach in time. In this game, they have taken it all a step further...or maybe better, a whole leap further. You see, you run out of fuel when moving forward. And you run out of it fast, way fast. To solve this problem, fuel pods are scattered all over the waterway. Grab them, and you win yourself some time. Miss them and run out of fuel and guess what ... YOU EXPLODE!

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