Developer / Publisher: Dakko Dakko
Price: PSN £2.99 / $2.99USD (Released 27/07/13)
I was so satisfied to be getting my hands on Floating Cloud God Saves The Pilgrim’s in HD. I remember getting the PSMini via PS+ some time ago, I thought it looked interesting and was a different type of game. Disappointingly I really couldn’t get on with the controls, so put it down after getting stuck and didn’t return until the HD version was released.
The game is far easier to play than to explain but I will try. You play a Nimbus based levitating deity who is worshiped by cute looking followers. The aim is to protect these dinky people, as you defend them from the attacks of varying waves of odd enemies. The controls as I’d mentioned have been improved to turn it in to side scrolling twin-stick shooter. The left stick navigates you, whilst the right stick fires vengefully destructive projectiles. You can also deal downwards devastation from you water vapour based platform, which can be used to destroy objects blocking your pilgrim’s path.
A right to left shooter may sound far from unique, but here comes the rub. Your followers have to be defended from flying demons that will try to carry them off, rolling beasties, that squish them. My personal favourite are the red phallic nosed demons that with try to kill your worshipers with their propelled cock like noses. By killing these varying waves of beasties said Pilgrims will emit a heart of adoration, these hearts only last on screen briefly. Unless you kill more devilish abominations and the hearts swell as their love for you increases, due to your protective powers. Not only do these look lovely in the vector styled graphics but the serve a positive purpose, which is to make you more powerful. Cleverly your cloud changes colour as a visual cue that you can deal more damage, at a faster rate and over a greater distance.
Part of the trick seems to be keeping relatively close to your pilgrims to stay powered up, whilst trying to make sure to take out as many critical threats as possible.
If all of your followers make it to the end of the stage by travelling up hill and down dale, then you are generously rewarded with a special type of follower. If you lose any, you simply gain one back for completing said stage. Trying to keep all eight alive to the end of each level is harder than you’d expect, especially when you have to contend with massively varied boss battles. These end of area baddies are brilliantly diverse and in typical shooter style you have to work out what’s required to destroy beautifully animated abominations, yet keep your followers safe from harmfull projectiles.
I’ll admit something I sucked quite hard at this to start with and couldn’t quite click with juggling destruction and protection, which resulted in me being game overed and returned to the menu screen, more times than I care to admit. I’m grateful for the option to retry last path which got well used as the moreish determination to get to the end. You can also use an option to replay from a previously completed path, which I didn’t discover until I’d completed the game with a pitifully miniscule two dedicated disciples.
I abused this feature due to it being perfect for assisting me with acquiring the Trophies, that have necessarily been added to this HD port. Getting the Gold Trophy is not going to be easy as you can’t lose a single pilgrim. I do have a massive gripe caused by shooting sound effects, as they grated on me way quicker that I would have preferred. I also felt it was too short but thankfully wasn’t overly reliant on repetition, but when I got to the end I wanted more so started again with a desire to save all my pilgrim’s.
You simply can’t argue with the price, (I’ve paid more for tech demos on the PSN), especially due to how playable it is when the mechanic’s click. If you tried the original PSMini and were put off by the controls drop a couple of quid on this remake and relish in the challenge of trophy hunting, and a different type of shooter.
Connor McKervey (VDJOMB)
Review code supplied by developer.
Screenshots taken by reviewer used with permission.