Clay's Reverie [$0.99] is cute. Really, really cute. Cute enough to warrant a warning label. That's how cute it is.
...And hard. In spite of the fleecy clouds and the pink dolphins, SuperGlueStudio's physics puzzler isn't a game for the faint-hearted. One false step and you're dead or, well, whatever passes for dead with doughy-looking things like the protagonist. Here in Clay's Reverie, death is synonymous with touching anything asides from the conveyor belt. It's a tough life but those are the breaks when you're a little, googly-eyed ball of white clay.
Fortunately, the odds are somewhat in your favor. Clay's Reverie benefits from simple and supremely responsive controls. Holding down on the conveyer belt allows you to move it on a vertical axis. Clay, on the other hand, does not seem quite as appreciative of such a hands-on approach. In order to control the blob-by hero himself, you're going to have to make use of the iPhone's accelerometer to roll him around the screen.
As easy and insipidly sweet as all this might sound, Clay's Reverie demands a substantial amount of finesse as the worlds you find yourself visiting are ... floating death traps, if you want to put it mildly. Bristling with spikes and all manner of metallic menaces, these worlds are all but friendly. For reasons unknown, they're also filled with the stars that Clay seems to covet. What malleable white spheres with the ability to magically transform into random other shapes after the consumption of dodgy-looking seeds want with flaming heavenly bodies is beyond me but that's how things goes. Come heck or high water, you're going to have to acquire the maximum number of stars possible and reach the finishing line without expiring more than three times.
It's a surprisingly tall order. Those with shaky hands should probably find themselves another diversion because Clay's Reverie is rather shameless about punishing those with an unsteady grip. This, in turn, wouldn't be so bad were it not for the fact that the check points are far and few in between, an issue that many will become intimately aware of after the initial few playthroughs. Given that a certain number of stars are necessary to proceed to the next world, the whole thing can result in a fair amount of frustration.
If you're willing to overlook that little problem, Clay's Reverie is a mostly satisfying experience. It's challenging without being unreasonably so, complex but accessible. Your six-year old cousin, on the off chance they're the precocious sort, would probably enjoy themselves with this one too. Friendly, straightforward and furiously adorable, Clay's Reverie is a lot of fun.
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