Command your clones to dig, leap and more in this Lemmings-esque 2D puzzler for PC
- Single player and networked multiplayer available
- 7 different game modes
- Built-in level editor
- Impressive 2D and 3D graphics, textures, colors
- Dozens of levels
- Controls are unresponsive at times
Clones is a free puzzle/ real time strategy game for PC, developed by indie developer Tomkorp Computer. Command a series of clones to morph their bodies in order to navigate dangerous terrain. The game is available here as a demo version only. The full version is available externally.
Core Gameplay and Features
If you were a fan of Lemmings in your youth and reveled at the thought of commanding a bunch of small, green-haired creatures to their ultimate doom, then this game bears a striking resemblance to it in terms of its core gameplay and mechanics. Similar to Lemmings, you are given indirect control of a bunch of creatures called clones. While you cannot order them to move directly, you can issue orders known as 'morphs' to them which causes them to transform in various ways. The gameplay takes place in 2D levels but has some 3D elements, such as the single player world map and some cutscenes.
The story for the game is short and sweet. You are a CloneMaster, a creature with immense intellect and the ability to command your clones. To better understand your role you decide to visit each of the ten CloneMasters to learn more. Your journey will take you through dozens of unique levels until eventually you will face off against the Elder in a multiplayer match.
To successfully traverse a level, you must complete the required objectives, requiring you to master your clones' abilities. In total, your clones can transform in 10 different ways, each depending on the situation. These include Clob (dig horizontally), Mold (diagonal bridge), Nova (explode a clone), Drill (dig vertically), Gulp (dig diagonally), Doppel (prevent other clones from passing), Spin (move vertically upwards) and many more. These morphs make the game extremely diverse and interesting to play, since often a solution requires the precise and sequential combination of several morphs.
Controls in the game are easy enough to pick up. To perform a morph, you can either drag your clone to the specified Morph in your menu or use a keyboard shortcut. The user interface contains your morphs on the right-hand side as well as an assortment of other functions on the left you will learn throughout the game. At the beginning of the game a series of tutorial CloneMasters will help you get started.
To facilitate the inevitable chaos that ensues, the game has seven game modes designed for such a purpose. A player first chooses between single player and multiplayer modes, and then specifies a mode within them. Regardless of mode, clones are grouped into eight different color groups. In single player, the player controls only one group, whereas in multiplayer each player can control a group. Game modes - and their corresponding victory conditions - resemble those seen in genres from FPS games to standard RTS games.
For Corral the Clone, a group has to beam up other clones; for Capture the Clone, a group has to lure a large clone to an exit area; in the Procure the Particle mode, a group must pick up a particle and direct it to a receptacle; in Multiverse Match, each group has their own duplicate level and must race to complete it as quickly as possible; in Quantum Quarrel, each group tries the atomize the clones of another group, and so on.
Throughout a level, a player will encounter various 'Traps' which add a dynamic element to gameplay. Teleport, Entanglement (links two clones' actions), Squish (crushes the clone), Shock (zaps the clone), Size (modifies size), Speedup (multiplies operational speed of a clone), etc.
Throughout a level, a player will encounter various 'Traps' which add a dynamic element to gameplay. Teleport, Entanglement (links two clones' actions), Squish (crushes the clone), Shock (zaps the clone), Size (modifies size), Speedup (multiplies operational speed of a clone), etc. While in many cases a trap can be detrimental, the rewards (e.g. 8x working speed) often outweigh the risks involved. One other interesting feature in the game is your ability to create your own levels with a built-in level editor.
Graphics, Visuals and Sound
Graphics in the game use a combination of 2D and 3D effects. The map screen from which levels are accessed is rendered in full 3D, with excellent use of colors, textures, and animated symbols. Artwork within levels is well presented, as well, with drawings of clones etched on to the walls of caves, great use of shading and texturing for stone, metal, lava and other objects as well as rich and varied color schemes. The clones are similarly sharp in presentation. The soundtrack is quite catchy and suits the mood perfectly, with a variety of tracks for different planets/ levels.
Clones is an excellent puzzle game by all accounts. Gameplay is smart, engaging and never too dull. The simple Lemmings-esque mechanics make it familiar but interesting. Game modes are diverse and offer the player a range of unique single and multiplayer options. Graphics are fairly minimalist, but still offer impressive. The controls and the user interface are very easy to learn. The soundtrack is a nice addition, too. With dozens of levels and some highly creative, diverse and puzzle-focused gameplay, this game is a must have for any fans of the genre.