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Cloudbase Prime review for Nintendo Switch


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC
Publisher: Floating Island Games
Developer: Floating Island Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: T

You’ve heard of games where the sum total is greater than any of the individual parts? Cloudbase Prime is basically the opposite of that. It has some neat pieces, but when you put them all together, it feels like it’s missing something.

Take, for example, the platforming — an important part of the game, since we’re talking about a platformer/first-person shooter. While your character can run and jump a little bit, for the most part, you’re getting around Cloudbase Prime’s world by having the ground launch you into space, and then you glide slowly (or not-so-slowly) down to wherever you want to go. It’s a unique take on platforming that I don’t recall seeing elsewhere, so the game definitely deserves some credit for that.

Likewise, it’s also got some pretty decent writing. Sure, the whole “sassy robot telling you what to do” thing has been played out pretty thoroughly by series like Portal and Borderlands, but that doesn’t mean that other games can’t at least try it. While I wouldn’t say that Cloudbase Prime comes close to matching any of the games in either of those franchises, there’s still plenty of humour to be found here.

And even the game’s world has a neat look to it. It’s a series of minimalist, hexagon-based levels (with each of those hexagon’s doing the aforementioned launching), and the effect falls somewhere between tech demo (if you’re being harsh) and futuristic (if you’re feeling generous). Again, not the most original-looking thing in the world, but it’s still nice and clean-looking.

Where the game falls down, though — and why it doesn’t succeed in being more than the sum of its parts — is as a shooter. Your weapons feel underpowered, and it’s hard to be as precise as the game demands of you, particularly since you have to focus so much of your energy and concentration on launching yourself into the air and trying to land squarely on pretty tiny hexagons, all while also gathering up little bots that are scattered around each level. I get that the developers probably wanted to make Cloudbase Prime more than just a game where you jump and glide around — but seeing as they do the jumping and gliding so well, it’s a shame they couldn’t focus on that, rather than allowing their game to be dragged down by something they did not-so-well.

But what’s done is done, and the end result is a game that could’ve been a lot better than it is. There’s enough good stuff present in Cloudbase Prime that it’s not hard to imagine how the game could be reworked into something significantly better with just a few tweaks, but as it stands, it’s feels more like a promising demo than a fully fleshed-out game.

Floating Island Games provided us with a Cloudbase Prime Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B-