Rapper B.o.B. is the latest to hop aboard the multimedia hype train, where artists release pieces of entertainment that work alongside each other to create a more complete experience for fans… and more revenue for their big releases. Like Bjork’s Crystalline and Gorillaz: Escape to Plastic Beach before it, B.o.B.’s iOS offering Strange Clouds is an odd little game. It has players slicing through colorful clouds a la Fruit Ninja, under the premise that these weird clouds are actually hiding specific shapes because aliens made them that way. Right.
According to in-game lore, each cloud possesses a soul, and the souls contain energy that’s required to get your rocket ship off the ground and into the stars. Essentially, you’re ripping the very souls from poor unsuspecting clouds to use them (rather selfishly, we might add) as fuel. That’s alien B.o.B. for you, forcing clouds to give up their lifeforce!
Acing the geometry test.
Across several ridiculously colorful stages, you’ll slice and dice through these alien clouds in a bid to create shapes as requested for each cloud: triangles, angular trapezoids, you name it. The key to success is slicing and dicing with pinpoint accuracy for higher grades and point bonuses. The neon clouds are electric blues, pinks, greens, yellows, and a variety of other acid rainbow hues.
When you slice through each cloud to gain points and coins, you can customize the trails that appear after you make your precise cuts. It’s very much a treat for the eyes if trippy, psychedelic coloring is your thing. The better your aim and accuracy, the more coins you’re rewarded with. Eventually you can purchase power-ups for your rocket ships, plus a treasure trove of paint jobs, wings, and other aesthetic enhancements as a reward for sinking more time into this surprisingly addictive game.
Put a lid on it.
For a casual 99-cent title that only scratches the surface of its ties to the rapper that inspired it, Strange Clouds is actually a decent Fruit Ninja-esque experience that will very quickly drain you of your free time if you let it. It does feature two of B.o.B.’s newest songs, but even if you’re not a rap fan, you can just as easily tune out those tracks. This game is a surprisingly competent tie-in that packs big-time ambition and familiar gaming convention into a smaller app that’s part of a marketing monster.
But despite its simple and intuitive gameplay, it suffers from some low-res and cartoony graphics (outside of the clouds themselves) that look a little silly and amateurish. There isn’t much detail on the ships themselves, and B.o.B. looks a little ridiculous as an alien. Furthermore, we’re not really sure how this game really fits in with the scheme of B.o.B.’s latest album, and it’s a silly concept– but since it’s an addictive and playable concept, we can let it slide.
Strange Clouds is a lighthearted, casual affair that most gamers and fans of B.o.B.’s music can enjoy. It’s evident that the push to combine media types seems to have been successful, at least in this case. Pick up the game for a rush of color and music.