Good puzzle game concept; Excellent learning curve management.
Too difficult too quickly; Graphic Design and Music not very attractive.
Puzzles are the food of the brain. Nothing delights us as much as solving a problem. This pleasure starts from childhood and this is why children are so fond of Games. This is a great opportunity for developers of all sorts because computers are a fantastic platform for creating puzzles. And although the type of puzzles we can find is rarely totally new, we easily get attracted by the very same puzzle we played 100s of times just because the world into which it is taking place has changed.
Today, we will review another one of these puzzles, aiming at young children. It is named Clobbr, created by Czarcade studios.
So, let’s take a look at Clobbr and see if it’s fun and entertaining.
We have created a video review of the game so that you can see it in action.
What is it?
Clobbr is a puzzle game. The purpose is to find a path for a ball so that it lands on a cat’s head and knocks it out. By doing so, the player allows the mice to move on without being eaten. The player has a limited time to complete the level. This is aimed to be fun but with the use of basic logic meaning it is quite smart.
It’s about getting the cat. You have 20 seconds and 5 rows with 5 columns and each have squares and arrows pointing in a particular direction. You then use those 20 seconds to move elements of each row (like with a wheel) and create a chain of actions, which will end with the ball knocking out the cat (or not). For this purpose, the ball is hit by a hammer (hence the name) at the latest after 20 seconds. If you are ready before that, you can trigger the action and get bonus points.
If finding a path could become quite boring after a while, Czarcade has been clever at adding special objects with special powers to increase the interest of the game. For instance, you can find objects that increase the strength of the ball and make it go through walls. I have not played all the level but I suspect that much more will come. This is a good idea!
In itself, the purpose is simple to understand and obviously more or less simple to find depending on how many available paths are in the level. I can easily imagine that it can become quite difficult with the advanced levels.
There is another objective in each level: find the hidden cheeses. If you find them, you get bonus points, if not, you are told you did not do that well.
The general graphic design is fine, but maybe more effort could have been put in the animation. Even the mice and hammer animations are rather simple. There are few animation effects and they could be more pleasant to the eyes.
The music style is matching the graphic design making the overall impression rather harmonious. If the style matches well the genre of the game, the theme during the game is very short and repetitive and will surely make any parent nervous if the child plays for too long. The reason is simple: the music lasts exactly 20 seconds, just the allocated time to solve the puzzle. Unfortunately, getting the same 20 seconds over and over is a bit nerving.
In fact, there is nothing really bad with them, just the feeling that “they’ll do the job”.
The puzzle itself is actually quite clever and intrinsically quite interesting. The challenge is obvious and you get your brain in action quite fast with some possible strategies to find the right path. The time limitation increases the challenge. The added special objects are adding to the interest.
The problem of finding the cheeses inside the created path is puzzling me though. As it looks to me as pure chance, I do not see the point. Or I play a game that rewards my intelligence, or I don’t. This combination did not work for me. I understand that the purpose of the cheeses is to force you to look for a different solution, but still, finding the cheeses is a matter of luck followed by try and fail.
Saying that, you may wonder why I mention myself for playing the game when it is aiming at children. You can guess, if you have read my other reviews that I have given the game to play to my daughter. She jumped on it immediately and played the first levels. Here again, Czarcade has done a great job in terms of learning curve. Every move is introduced very nicely and learning what to do is piece of cake. But quite quickly, the game became too difficult for her and she left it away. She actually came back to the game later on her own. Actually, the game is becoming quite hard quite quickly. Reaching only level 15, I started to fight the clock and felt annoyed to have to do the same level again and again within 20 seconds. 20 seconds is a very short time for puzzle. The time for you to gather the problem and you have lost a few key seconds.
It is likely that the level of addiction to this game will strongly depend on how good you are at it. It did not totally work for me. I believe that the 20 seconds limited time, imposing to do again and again the same 20 seconds course of action was not my cup of tea. I did come back to the game a few times and every time managed a few more levels. I also had great pleasure at solving the problem each time, especially when the solution involves complex paths with super-power objects.
I think the authors have worked hard on the ways to maintain your interest level. They have done some nice moves in this direction. I wonder, though, where the idea of knocking a cat out is coming from. I did not feel very keen to achieve that objective. Maybe they should have created a more devilish kind of cat or something you do want to knock out. This one looks quite innocent to me.
We found no bugs at all during our game time. Good job!
Czarcade is offering an interesting game to us that should appeal to many. The gameplay is simple to grab, the learning curve is perfectly handled and there are some very nice ideas in it. You will not be short of challenges with this game!
Despite all these ideas, the game gives a feeling of “could be better”, like if Czarcarde had run out of time to work on the visual implementation of the good ideas. At the same time, one must admit that more complex means more work and more work means more expensive. In that respect, the value for money is actually good! The game is not expensive and contains no ad or even in-app purchase, making it very children friendly.
It is likely that some optional settings or some fine tuning will make this app much more appealing. In version 1.1?
Good ideas; Good game concept; Good challenges; Good price;
The graphic design and music could be more entertaining; The luck element is not necessary; The game is too difficult too quickly;