Playing Cloning Clyde for Xbox Live Arcade - Xbox 360

Bill Loguidice's picture

Cloning Clyde character montageCloning Clyde character montageWell, Xbox Live Arcade's new release Wednesday yesterday offered up its second game for the Xbox 360 after Frogger 25th Anniversary, Cloning Clyde. Obviously unlike many of the games on the release list, Cloning Clyde is not based off a classic arcade property, but is instead its own entity.

Not doing much research beforehand, I didn't know what to expect, other than most likely a hop and bop platformer, which wouldn't have been a bad thing. Instead, it turns out there's much more to it, which also is not a bad thing.

My very first impressions after downloading the demo and starting the game were not good. The game is presented from the side, like a 2D platformer, but is made up of 3D objects that are cell shaded. The effect is interesting, in that it has a subtle claymation effect, similar to Microsoft's "The Neverhood", if anyone remembers that from Windows 95. In fact, it turns out that the game plays a bit like that game too, but I'll get to that a bit later. In any case, the visuals are a bit odd, but serve the silly tone of the well enough. So why were my first impressions not so good? The way the camera shifted back and forth when showing more of the left and right of the scene when you moved your character was a bit disconcerting. Luckily, after playing for a few minutes I eventually didn't notice it, but it is an actual adjustment. Obviously it's not a major issue since I did get used to it fairly quickly, but it's an adjustment nonetheless.

I didn't catch the whole story, but it seems like you're "Clyde" and you're in a crazy lab with all kinds of security. I think you have to create and rescue your various clones. You're dressed in a hospital gown with a peek-a-boo back, showing Clyde's bottom when he's climbs ladders and what-not. You have rudimentary jumping abilities, as well as the ability to pick up and throw objects, as well as kicking abilities. Simple enough and standard fair. There are puzzle elements, of the switch variety or pressure plates or defeat an enemy to unlock the way. It's all fairly straightforward, but fun. One part at the beginning has you getting sucked down a drain, then taking a rock to plug the drain so you can swim across the area. Again, nothing earth shattering, but fun nonetheless, particularly since you have to actually be defeated before you can get the piece necessary to solve the "puzzle". So yes, in this case it again is similar to games like "The Neverhood" or "Abe's Odyssey" and the like, though with more platform action elements.

In another nod to "fun", there's another simple room at the beginning filled with chickens for no other purpose than for you to kick them around and pick them up and throw them. That's it. It's actually rather humorous and I must say that my 20 month old daughter found it the height of comedy, laughing hysterically for a good 10 minutes at the antics. Little cartoon touches like that are throughout the game, from when Clyde gets clunked on the head to the silly sound effects.

I guess the point on the first level is to defeat all the robot guards (by kicking them and eventually having them blow up), get through all the rooms by solving simple puzzles, creating a few clones using the clone machine (the clones are also necessary to solve a pressure-plate puzzle), then escaping the level with or without as many clones as possible. There's also a feature that I think hints at the multiplayer where you can see the game through the eyes of different clones and control those clones separate from the original Clyde. When I'm able to fully explore that, it should make things even more interesting.

The style is a bit odd, the camera is a bit wonky, but it is 2D platform puzzle goodness that feature straightforward and only mildly frustrating (as all platformers feature) gameplay, where it's easy to advance. I didn't come in expecting much, but I must say, with all of the above in mind, I actually do want to play more, and it's certainly worth it for my daughter's laughter (interestingly, a few minutes before that, she found the "Loco Roco" downloadable demo on the PSP absolutely terrifying even though it's essentially just a rolling, singing balloon creature; go figure), so I think unlike Frogger, this will be a good purchase for me, especially with the additional online multiplayer features.

From the Microsoft Website:

Have you ever been cloned? Ever wonder what it would be like to be a chicken? A monkey? A frog? Well, wonder no more when you play Cloning Clyde, the zany side-scrolling platformer game on Xbox Live Arcade, new from NinjaBee.

Cloning Clyde is a 3-D side-scrolling adventure, featuring (of course!) multiplayer gameplay. Play split screen on a single console, or mutate online with your friends across the world via Xbox Live® Arcade.

Can you free yourselves from the myriad sinister traps and mutations that await you? Get Cloning today and find out!

Character variety: Play as a variety of mutant Clydes, each with unique abilities, including Chicken-Clyde, Frog-Clyde, Sheep-Clyde, and more. Play not only as Clyde himself, but also as his hundreds of clones.
Multiplayer: On a single console, join with a friend in co-op mode, or go crazy with four player versus mode. Solve exciting and addictive puzzles with a variety of resolutions.
Game modes: Enjoy hours of fun with two distinct game modes including 40 cooperative levels and six versus arenas. Play online through Xbox Live with up to eight friends.


Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Joined: 12/31/1969
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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
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