Claybook Review (SWITCH)
The minute I saw Claybook I had a good feeling. It may have been nostalgia for the way the clay looked or the marble like gameplay, it just seemed like a feel good game. If being able to sculpt and mold some clay to solve physics puzzles sounds like a nice relaxing time to you, Claybook is a great download.
The game is simple, you control clay as you solve varying physic puzzles. A lot of the levels just turn into marble gameplay like Marble Blast Ultra, which is not a bad thing at all. Except you have the added control of being able to change the shape of the “marble” to handle different tasks. The puzzles have some cool mechanics, like making sure a liquid can cross a map to fill a container or “eating” certain food made of clay using a “sinking” move where you can just slowly sink deep into any clay surface. There is also the very useful rewind move, it moves your shape back where it came from but it also leaves a “stamp” of your shape where you started your rewind. It’s a great idea because you can save your self from falling off ledges and you can build a bridge or stairs to accomplish the puzzle you are on. Every new puzzle seems to come up with new ways to use all that they introduce, and every new innovation to the mechanics seems to come in a new whimsical way.
Whimsical is a great way to describe Claybook. From the music to even the general aesthetic, whimsey. The graphics are actually really solid, even in handheld mode. Seeing all the clay you roll over stick to your ball or square is well done and looks great but best of all makes it feel like you are working with real clay. I wouldn’t say the game is a children’s game though. Sure lots of kids will love this game and have fun with it but sometimes the puzzles can be actually challenging, with a lot of instructions to figure out. It is actually a great thing for this game, leading to it being longer then it first appears due to its difficulty. It also means this is a great game to play with the whole family, when the young ones can’t figure something out, an oldy can help but still be challenged.
Claybook has a bunch of already pre built puzzles for you, which provide a great couple hours of gameplay but where this game shines is it’s creative and sandbox mode. The devs basically open the whole game up for you and then let you share what you make with the world. So already, even on launch day, there is plenty of player content to chew through. So technically if the audience is big enough and engaged enough, Claybook could have content forever. The game is crossplay, so you don’t just have the Switch audience but also the Xbox and PC gamers making their own Claybooks for you to explore. Sure there is a ton of low effort levels but there are some serious works by some genius people. Also the game has leaderboards for all it’s levels, which can be a great way to add replay value.
Not everyone will will love the simple gameplay and the sometimes wonky camera but overall it is hard to deny that claybook is a delight. With what seems like endless fan-made content, and leaderboards, Claybook has plenty of value. The graphics are top notch and the gameplay is whimsical yet challenging. If you are looking for a nostalgia trip of a puzzle game, Claybook is a great buy.
Rating: 7. 5 out of 10
GoG breakdown:Console: SwitchPrice: Received a code from the Dev ($18.89 on the Eshop) Playtime: 3-4 Hours
Reason to buy: You love a good physics puzzler
Reaon to not buy: you can almost smell the scent of clay as you play