This title was reviewed on Nintendo Switch but is also available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Prepare to be frustrated! If you’re after one of those games where its sole purpose is to make your gameplay experience difficult and make you question your willingness to continue, then Claybook is what you’re looking for. I personally tend to avoid games of a similar nature such as I am Bread etc, due to the fact that the life of my consoles depends on me not playing these. But, for Claybook I must endure for the sake of the review! Check it out below.
You play as a blob of clay, and your objective upon entering each world is to complete the assigned challenges. These can range from eating all pieces of chocolate in the level which are in either easy or difficult places to get to or getting a certain shape to a location on the map. As you get further through the levels the objectives get more complicated, such as a level with a challenge to eat all the chocolate on the bridge but leave the bridge untouched. Sensing a chocolate theme here? You’d be right! Each level is based on a kid’s imagination, so there is a level with a chocolate loving kid! Believe it or not, I got a bit of a fright playing this game. As for the first few levels I hadn’t spotted the child at the corner of the table, and on one level I turned the camera to get greeted by a kid’s ginormous face! Their faces are also quite creepy looking.
To complete your objectives and to traverse the world set before you, you are able to select on the go between four different shapes for your clay to automatically mould into. You can do this on the fly, and each shape is helpful for different things. For example, the cylinder shape is very good for climbing things like stairs, the square is very useful when you have to consume specific objects. You can also find throughout the map different clay shapes to possess which are typically much better than your selection and can be used to tactfully complete your objective.
The gameplay itself is, simply put, frustrating. It feels like a momentum system, and if you hold the direction down for too long your object will go flying off instead of nicely landing on the thin landing you must get to. If you don’t hold it down for long enough you will slowly edge your way there.
The game comes with an editor which allows you to design your own levels. You can use pretty much any asset in the game to do this and it allows you to challenge your friends. Depending on how good you are, you might receive a text from your friend asking you to buy them a new Switch for the one they just broke.
Claybook is very colourful and the clay levels initially look like smooth clay till you get to moving the stuff around. A very cool effect in the game is that as you move over different colours of clay this smudges onto your object and this has quite a cool affect. Apart from that the game looks as though it’s clay! I turned the sound off pretty quickly as I found the music to be incredibly irritating.
The high point of Claybook is its graphics, but aside from that I can’t say I enjoyed playing it. It’s incredibly frustrating and not something I found entertaining. For anyone else, I imagine that you could have some fun playing this for short stints. All I can say is, play at your own risk, and put your Switch on a bungy cord!