Claybook is a refreshing game which is somewhat hard to put into a category but if i was forced to choose one I think I would have to put it between casual and puzzle/strategy. Basically it is a game where you play as a boy who controls a blob of clay and you solve different puzzles which are played out in a storybook fashion and unlock stars judging on how well you do. The stars unlock new levels with new challenges
Second Order is the name of the developers and publishers of their first release Claybook, which first saw the light of day on Steam, Xbox and Playstation 4 on August 31st. The version I reviewed is the newly released Nintendo Switch version and the code was given to us by the publishers.
The blob of clay which you control has the ability to morph into different shapes and forms, which all comes with different strengths and weaknesses. The different puzzles range from digging holes in clay structures to fill liquid into other structures or reaching certain points on the map in the least amount of time. It also comes with a sandbox mode which lets you play around in a “claybox” version of the game if you just want to sit back and mess with the game mechanics.
There is something special about rolling around in clay, and it is somewhat soothing to see it all deform as you plow your clay block through the environment because everything on the map is made of clay and reacts that way. There is also a user-generated content mode which lets you play around with other maps made by other players and also the ability to create your own maps if you choose to do so.
“Claybook is powered by our in-house developed technology called Clayfield. Using this technology we can render and simulate rich volumetric clay environments. Clayfield makes new kind of user-generated content possible. Players can unleash their creativity without having to worry about the technical details. Our technology is designed for butter smooth 60 fps gameplay on PC and consoles.”
The first few levels you get the chance to play around in works as a tutorial for new players and it is a nice way to get you behind the mechanics of the game, and as soon as you finish these levels you are on your own and there is no set way to clear a level as the clay can be pretty unpredictable at times as with regular clay. This is a nice way to put replay value into the game and I found myself replaying a level just to see if I could beat my own scores or compete with other players on the leader-boards which are also implemented into the game.
There is a rewind ability also in the game but instead of clearing up clay you smudged or destroyed it simply rewinds your clay blob and leaves the environment the way you left it which also calls for some interesting outcome. This mechanics is really good seeing as i struggled with the camera on numerous occasions, and the camera is also the only negative thing i have to say about my experience with the game.
Claybook has replay value and it is a fun pick up and play kind of game, and having it on the Switch is a great way to waste a few minutes or hours on the go. And this might be something that i venture back to at some point when I have some time to waste. It is also a great first release from a company that I am personally excited follow from here on out.