As another Friday rolls around, we look to kick back, unwind and relax. And for this week’s FGF, we’ve got just the game to help you out.
Over The Clouds – the latest release by WASD Productions – is a short 1st person puzzle platform adventure set in the beautiful, but corrupt and deconstructed rise to Olympus. You’re tasked with making your way ever closer to the Gods’ mystical ancient home, purging the tainted platforms of corruption, and restoring it to its former glory. However, as you do so you’ll be required to utilise some of the God’s divine powers in order to step where no mortal man should.
The game’s split up into 4 levels. Each level will introduce you to a new gameplay element – starting off with basic platform jumping. As you land on each platform, it illuminates in glorious light, and is left free of corruption, gleaming in brilliant whiteness. Once you make it to the end of each of the game’s 14 stages, you’ll find a jewel that will activate and bring another stage of platforms rising in to view for you to progress through. The jumping mechanics feel appropriately floaty for the setting, and there’s also an element of inertia to your movement – a more advanced physic I wasn’t expecting to experience in such a small title.
Once platforming has been mastered, you’ll be introduced to the game’s key 3 puzzle elements. The first, and most impressive is the use of the divine power of wind – a gift from Eolos’ – to project yourself from platform to platform. These launch pads take the form of dynamic balls of leaves with a trail leading off into a direction, showing you where you’ll be heading. The direction can be manipulated by you – each launch pad generally offering 3 directions – to ensure that you head in the direction of safety, and not down into the void of clouds below. What I found really smart was that due to there being no required proximity in which to change the course of each launch pad, you could orchestrate chain links of these wind tunnels from a distance, allowing you to step out into the first one to then be carried seamlessly by multiple wind routes to your final destination. It’s a really neat, satisfying feature, and I enjoyed setting these up a lot.
Above The Clouds then introduces moving platforms which I had control over, and then finally a kind of special vision system only found at specific points on the map that allowed me to see hidden platforms, meaning that I had to remember where they were and then hop and hope into the emptiness, with false confidence that I’d found my footing. The game did a really good job of introducing these features at a manageable pace, and then weaving them together to form more complex puzzles. Although I admit for the most part none of these puzzles were a particular challenge, they certainly still had me thinking, and I did find myself falling more than once.
Really though, Over The Clouds is about relaxation. Its level design is simple, but beautiful. The accompanying soundtrack is a perfectly fitting piano piece, and despite the platform precision element, you’ll feel light as a feather as you glide around the levels to its tune. I got real Talos Principle vibes from playing Over The Clouds, and suitably all is not as it seems, but I’ll leave for you to discover.
It will take less than an hour to complete, but It’s a cracking little game, and thoroughly deserving of your attention. Check it out on a Itch.io here!