Indie Game Review: Clones – who you callin’ a Lemming?
|Publisher(s):||Tomkorp Computer Solutions Inc.|
|Developer(s):||Tomkorp Computer Solutions Inc.|
|Genre(s):||Lemmings Clone, Puzzle|
|Release Date:||November 18, 2010|
Indie Game Reviewer takes on Clones – a puzzle platformer from Tomkorp Computer Solutions and comes out with top marks. But why?
The Intergalactic CloneMaster Organization welcomes you! Take the scenic route and solve the fun and challenging problems crafted by the most cunning creatures in the universe. Then try the competitive route and test out your strategies head-to-head, in real-time, against other players from around the galaxy!
What We Think:
The developers at Tomkorp Computer Solutions Inc. (wow, that’s a mouthful) must have a sense of humor because Clones is exactly what the name implies, a clone of Lemmings. “But I’ve already played the hell out of Lemmings,” you say, “why would I bother to pick this up?” Twenty years of evolution is why, smart ass.
OK, so let’s start off with what’s the same.
- 2D side scrolling-style level design? Check.
- Small game creatures that wander aimlessly? Check.
- Basic instruction set to get the critters not to off themselves? Check.
You get the gist. On to what’s fun and new:
Because your clones are some sort of Power Ranger, they’re capable of morphing into, and doing, a lot of things that a lemming simply isn’t capable of, including flight. They can also, on certain levels become light and dark versions of themselves, enhancing their capabilities (No force powers. Sorry.)
Most levels also contain one or more contraption. These alter your clones in a myriad of ways; Firing them into the air, altering gravity, enlarging or shrinking them, binding the actions of multiple clones together, or doing the poor buggers all sorts of harm.
On to level types. There’s, of course, the “Get x clones to the end of the board” levels, but that’s just the beginning. Some levels let you sacrifice any and all of your team, as long as the golden clone survives. Others allow you to replay the level multiple times in order to get multiple clones to do things simultaneously. I could go on, but I won’t.
All these elements combine to create an amazing amount of fun. It also lends itself to a lot more vertical play than Lemmings ever had. Particularly while going through the solo game, this makes for a whole lot of variety.
The single player mode is straightforward. You are a novice clone controller on a pilgrimage to learn all there is to know from the 11 CloneMasters. Journey from planet to planet learning seeking their tutelage and eventually challenging the masters themselves. There are over 150 individual levels to go through so, while any given game session can be nice and short, you’ve got many hours of playtime here. Got stuck? There are video playthroughs of each level to show you how it’s done.
Once you’re finished learning from the masters it’s on to the real challenges. Multiplayer. TomKorp put a lot of thought into multiplayer. There are a half dozen multiplayer game modes that sound like they’re a lot of fun. I say sound like because, frankly, no one ever seems to be on the network to play. Maybe I’m always trying at bad times? I don’t know. If you’ve got friends interested though, I have no doubt you’ll have a blast.
There’s also a great level editor to allow you to build and share your own manic levels. This seems to have caught a little more interest than multiplayer with a couple of pages worth of player created levels available for download on the Clones site.
Whether or not you take advantage of all the extras, the core single player experience is well worth both your time and your money. It’s a manic mutation of the Lemmings concept that will make you fall in love with critters without a sense of self-preservation all over again.
Get Clones on Steam for US$9.99
Visit the Clones official site for other purchasing options, level galleries and more.