This side-scrolling platforming game is one of the most recent games to join the Xbox Live Arcade Hits. It is now available for purchase for 400 MS points. It surprises me that there hasn’t been a review for this so I’m here to fill the gap. If leaving negative feedback, please leave a reason why so that I can improve for future reviews.
Clyde meets a stranger, who offers him $20 to take part in a cloning experiment. The experiment goes wrong, and instead of one clone of Clyde, there are dozens of them. The cloning facility is shut down to try to contain the outbreak of Clydes, leaving Clyde to try and escape from the facility. The story never gets more detailed than this, but I feel that a deeper storyline would just complicate the game too much.
You begin each level with a solitary Clyde, but in order to help Clyde escape, you have to find hanging boxes of clones throughout the level, or make use of the cloning machines. You can make identical clones of Clyde to hold down switches or balance scales. Alternatively, you can clone Clyde with an animal to give him special abilities. For example, combining Clyde with a chicken means he can now fly; combining him with a frog means that he can swim underwater without having to resurface for oxygen. There are others but I won’t list them all. You need to destroy a set number of security robots before you can activate a teleporter to allow you to escape each level. There are 25 levels and 10 separate challenges to complete.
The platforming here is relatively simple, although occasionally frustrating. I lost count of the number of times that I overshot a jump and fell right back down to the bottom of the screen. There are occasionally multiple directions that you can take to reach a certain platform, but more often there is only one route you can possibly take. The puzzles that you need to solve to reach new areas are never too challenging; however, I did get stuck a couple of times and ended up walking away from the game for a while. On my return though, I would find that there was a blatantly obvious solution staring me in the face and I just hadn’t thought of it.
There isn’t a lot of combat in this game. The only enemies you face are stationary security robots that need to be defeated to activate gates or lifts, and the exploding chickens that are released to protect these robots. Basic combat involves mashing the X button, but strands of DNA can be collected to charge up a super attack activated by RB. The super attack will usually defeat the robots in one hit on the easy difficulty. You can only have a maximum of three charged super attacks at any one time.
The level of difficulty only really affects the combat in the game. Your health becomes more of a concern on the harder difficulties; on the easy difficulty you can take numerous hits without too much impact on your health. However, on hard difficulty you can only take four hits before you are killed. Whenever you die you are respawned at the nearest checkpoint. The difficulty of the enemies also varies with the difficulty setting; enemies need more hits to defeat them as the difficulty increases. Finally, on the harder difficulties you need to collect more DNA to charge up a super attack. In the first training level, the first batch of DNA strands will be enough to charge up two super attacks on easy; the equivalent number on the hard difficulty will not even get you your first super attack.
There are collectibles in this game. They come in the form of Killer Ken figures, which also got cloned with Clyde. These are dotted about the levels but generally aren’t too hard to find. The score you gain at the end of the level is increased by the amount of Ken figures that you find, so leaderboard enthusiasts will want to find all of these. Luckily, if you reach the end of a level but have missed some of the figures, you can choose to replay the level at any time. Your tally of figures for that level carries over into the replays, so you don’t lose your progress and are only left with the figures that you missed during your first run.
You also have the option to help Clyde’s clones to escape at the end of the level. Again, the score you gain at the end of the level is increased by the amount of clones that you help to escape, so it is worth making the effort to help them.
Initially Clyde only wears a green hospital gown while playing the game, though parents can choose to add a pair of pants to prevent the sight of Clyde’s bare bottom. As you progress through the levels, more skins are unlocked for Clyde, such as a cowboy skin or a mutant skin. The only one of these that I did find useful was the mutant Clyde, which rolls all of Clyde’s special abilities into a single clone. None of the others add any new game-play elements. You will also have unlocked a couple of gamerpics by the end of the game.
There are two multiplayer modes available in this game. Both are playable either with two players in split-screen or with four players over Live. Co-op mode allows up to four players to control different Clydes and work together to complete 40 levels. These are very similar to the single-player campaign though. Versus mode pits two teams of one or two players against each other to destroy the opposing side’s security robots, whilst trying to protect your own. Unfortunately, at the time of writing this review, Live multiplayer is virtually non-existent. When I checked, there was a single game of co-op running, but not a single game of versus was available.
This is a very easy 200/200. However, you may need to play some levels twice to earn the achievement for beating the par times. The par times themselves are fairly easy to beat, but if you are trying to collect all of the figures and help all of the clones escape then you are unlikely to beat them the first time around. I only beat the par times for two levels whilst doing this. Initially I was intending to collect every single Ken figure and help every single clone escape, but to be honest I got bored with constantly repeating each level. Once I had unlocked the achievements for the figures and clones, I ignored them in the remaining levels and just went for beating the par times.
Each level usually takes between 10 and 15 minutes, so you are looking at an average time of 8 to 9 hours to complete one playthrough of the Single player campaign. Multiplayer would add more play time to this, but unless you can find someone to play local co-op with you, then this is unlikely to happen now. You may wish to repeat levels to try and beat your best time or increase your score on the leaderboards. I would advise that your first playthrough is spent finding all of the figures and helping all of the clones escape, because the multiplier that you earn for this is carried over for every replay.
This isn’t a bad game and I would say that it is certainly worth 400 MS points. The platforming and combat is relatively simple, and it would be a suitable game for children. The achievements are fairly easy to unlock, and can be gained in under 10 hours. Unfortunately, the Live multiplayer community has disappeared over time, but the modes are still fun in local split-screen. It does get a bit repetitive though unfortunately.