As a man who actively supports others who dare to play through a game on 'easy' (sometimes it's alright to just enjoy the experience), Cloudberry Kingdom is something of a test to this thought process. A platformer that exists thanks to the likes of Super Mario and then pushed to sheer crazy extents due to the Super Meat Boys of this world, it's deliberately difficult, punishing and, arguably more importantly, moreish.
While it may have started life as a Kickstarter project, Ubisoft has made all our dreams come true by spreading its reach and releasing it on Xbox Live, PSN and, horror of all horrors, Nintendo's eShop. It doesn't have the sheer brutal nature of Meat Boy - it does come close on occasion, mind - but it's certainly made from the same cloth: multiple levels that will push your skill, precision and patience, or lack thereof, to the limit.
The twist with Cloudberry Kingdom is that each stage is procedurally generated based on your playstyle, meaning it's somewhat of a lottery as to how ludicrous events are going to get. While the concept is different, it does prove to be a tad lopsided. You'll painfully squeeze your way through what can only be described as a nightmare before the next challenge is the equivalent of going for a walk in the park. Games of this ilk benefit from asking more and more of its player as each level concludes. Not having this step up takes away a certain intimidation factor.
Cloudberry Kingdom isn't the prettiest thing you'll ever see (three people asked me if it was a flash game) and while it may not kick your ass as hard as other titles like it, it's still laughably tough in places . With a ridiculous, and thoroughly entertaining, multiplayer suite to finish it all off, it's a pleasant addition to any digital library, albeit a slightly overpriced one.
Version tested: Xbox 360. Played for 4 hours. Click here to read about VideoGamer.com's new review policy.