As protagonist Mike Chen who floats on a cloud, the player’s objective is simple: evade incoming bullets from flying enemies and shoot energy balls back at them in side-scrolling stages. Using power-ups for better firepower or buying special bombs with credits one collects during fights also helps to survive these encounters, while fighting mini-bosses and big bosses in each stage is a given, considering the heritage of the game that sets its enemy design apart from other games with inspirations from classic Chinese folklore (also seen with the Monkey King himself). Originally developed by HOT-B in 1989 for the arcades and later renamed Cloud Master outside Japan with the releases on the Sega Master System, NES, SFC, and PC Engine, this newest version is based on the coin-op, but it has a few modern tweaks, too.
The most important or fun part is the local two-player co-op mode, as flying together with a friend should make the bullet hell dodging and firing experience a bit easier to take in, especially since one loses all the power-up progress when shot down. After all, this isn’t a game for beginners, but those who grew up in a time when coin-ops were made difficult to have people put more money into them. If one wants to engage in competitive gaming, there are also online leaderboards for both single- and multiplayer. Fortunately, unlike some modern remakes that try too hard to use HD graphics (looking at you, Simon the Sorcerer and Simon the Sorcerer II Anniversary Editions!), the sprite work is still nice to look at and recognizable.
The game is out now on PC as well as on Nintendo Switch (with a PS4 release also announced), with a 10% launch discount for the PC version that will last until September 21st, 5pm UTC.
Buy the game for Nintendo Switch on
the Nintendo eShop
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