First we had the rather lovely Adventures of 2D Octopus Character make the jump to become a native Vita title and now Dakko Dakko’s other much loved Playstation mini has joined it. One of the best of the mini crop, Floating Cloud God is a fun and fresh take on the side scrolling shooter and is another great example of indie games showing simple concepts are sometimes the best.
Floating Cloud God has players in control of said deity as he rides a cloud around shooting monsters and being worshipped by his followers. The pilgrims must be protected as if all of them die it’s game over. You start the game with ten pilgrims with the aim being to get them all to the gate at the end of the level. If they all reach the end alive a special pilgrim will join you wearing a different hat. You need to be very careful with the little guys as you only get one back per level if any die so losing a few in one area can be fatal later on.
As well as effectively acting as your lives, they also release hearts throughout their journey which increase in size as you blast monsters. Collecting these powers you up and this becomes a continual process as you also lose power with every shot you fire. It’s an excellent play mechanic that works really well. If the Cloud God is hit by a monster he will completely power down, He won’t die however so this can be used tactically to block a stray incoming bullet from time to time.
There are seven worlds in total, each split in two stages and a boss fight. Every stage offers something new and they soon become incredibly difficult to get through with all your followers intact. There is a nice variety of enemies and obstacles to overcome and each area is significantly different from the last. It all looks rather lovely as well, with a clean cut oriental style that gets across all the humour and magic we have come to expect from the studio.
The bosses are a particular highlight with each one full of personality and requiring some thought by the player in order to take down. Once you have worked out their weakness the real challenge is to take them out without losing any of your Pilgrims. A monster with a giant flying nose springs to mind as a particular highlight.
In truth the game isn’t going to last you that long in terms of completion. However, this is clearly a score attack kind of title and getting through the levels without losing pilgrims or keeping your special pilgrims alive is going to take a lot more time and effort. It’s such an easy game to get drawn into and what starts out as replaying a single level will see you staying on to try and complete more and more stages.
Overall, if there was ever a game you could describe as delightful then this is it. It just has a lovely fun feel to it and a hint of nostalgia that brings to mind old television shows like Monkey. It’s a game you’ll play continually to beat your old scores, rescue pilgrims or just to have fun for a few minutes. It just goes to show how strong the original mini was that it only needed a graphical facelift to still feel like an excellent Vita game.