Cloudpunk from ION LANDS is a game about being a delivery driver. Not just your run of the mill delivery driver though. You’re a delivery driver in a futuristic neon lit world built far into the sky. The city of Nivalis is your new home and you’re the new kid on the block. Just remember the two major rules of doing deliveries and you’ll be fine. These rules being, don’t ask questions and never look at what’s in the package.
In Cloudpunk, players will take on the role of Rania, an Eastern woman who left her home to seek work in Nivalis to settle her debt. She signs up to Cloudpunk, a delivery agency and this is where things get a little bit more complicated. It’s Rania’s first night on the job and it’s up to you to help her make it through a tough night of deliveries.
Players will be put in the driver’s seat of a HOVA. A fancy hovering vehicle that can ascend and descend freely in the sky. You’ll “drive” your HOVA across Nivalis and will be able to park at designated spots in the city. Upon parking, players will set off on foot as Rania and will be able to interact with the citizens of Nivalis.
You can encounter androids, humans and artificial intelligences in Nivalis and there’s quite a lot of story to soak up. One of the earliest encounters with NPCs in the game takes place right outside the Cloudpunk office with two robot gang members. This encounter immediately sets the tone for the futuristic cyberpunk tale to come. Each NPC you interact with has their own story to tell, or alternatively something to sell to you. There’s always someone hawking something in futuristic games where mega-corporations run rampant and there’s plenty of these in Cloudpunk.
As Rania, you’ll have to make deliveries and complete side missions given to you by the citizens of Nivalis. When you’re on foot, you’ll be able to switch between two viewpoints. One is an up close third person view while the other is a zoomed out side-scroller-esque viewpoint. You’ll eventually get used to using both viewpoints to navigate through the on-foot sections of Nivalis. Back in your HOVA, you’ll be able to travel faster if you use one of the “highways” but this is not always necessary since you can just ascend and descend to take a more scenic route to objectives.
Traversing Nivalis does involve a few loading screens between sections of the city. You’ll go through tunnels to arrive at a new destination such as The Marrow or Central. All the districts and regions of Nivalis are connected via these and generally, it’s quite easy to navigate thanks to the mini-map that’s always available. Each region has plenty of places where you can park your HOVA, explore and interact with NPCs.
Gameplay in Cloudpunk is therefore all about the interactions. Delivering items is the glue that holds everything together but the real star of the show is the excellent voice acting and the narrative worldbuilding that’s been put in place in the game. Learning about the city and what goes on in Nivalis is captivating and players who enjoy games with a lot of story will definitely enjoy Cloudpunk.
There are some minor hiccups in the game with regards to some trope-filled writing but the main story and the rather hefty amount of freedom to explore a downright gorgeous voxel neon lit world makes it all worthwhile. ION LANDS have crafted a work of art that will keep you entertained for hours.
Cloudpunk also features some customization in the form of outfitting Rania with various cosmetic items and upgrading your HOVA itself with new parts. The soundtrack is great with a lot of synth heavy tracks that suit the game’s entire aesthetic perfectly. Playing Cloudpunk and just hovering around in Nivalis while taking in the scenery and listening to the music is a remarkably calming endeavour. The game’s world is so captivating that you’ll find yourself gawking off into the distance quite often taking in the splendor of the neon lit cityscape.
Overall, Cloudpunk is a game that is highly recommended if you’re a fan of voxel graphics and futuristic neon-lit aesthetics. The chilled nature of the gameplay is great and anyone can pick up and play Cloudpunk. The voice acting is pretty good too with some great acting in specific situations. Cloudpunk should definitely be on your radar if you’re looking for an indie gem to enjoy.
Cloudpunk was reviewed on PS4 and you can purchase it here for £19.99.
Now got a PS4 no worry the game is also available on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC
The game is published by Merge Games and Developed by ION LANDS
If you enjoy games and gaming and want more NEWS from the Gaming World Click Here