Game Reviews

Clay's Reverie

Star onStar onStar onStar halfStar off
| Clay's Reverie
Clay's Reverie
| Clay's Reverie

Sweet doesn’t even begin to describe it. Clay’s Reverie is so overpoweringly cute that the initial experience is like stepping into a gunge tank and having a sack of Andrex Puppies emptied onto your head.

But beneath the cotton candy presentation and adorable character design there lurks a game that’s devilishly difficult. Unwary players had better steel themselves for the challenge.

Rainbow Brite

Clay is a white lump with eyeballs and rosy cheeks. His purpose in life is to collect stars. His means of transport is a magical conveyor belt, which you control by moving up and down. Clay can move as well, and his speed and positioning along the belt is controlled by tilting the touchscreen from side to side.

It's an ingenious control scheme, giving you control over the vertical and horizontal axes. What you don’t have control over is the horizontal scrolling, which is automatic and moves at a constant pace from right to left.

Objects will appear on the right-hand side of the screen, whether they’re spiked railings or rotating pistons, and you have to help Clay gobble up the stars while avoiding the obstacles.

Collect enough stars and you’ll also be able to unlock the other three worlds in the game. They each have their own distinct crayon-hued visual design, starting with Sweet World and then moving off into Universe, Seasons, and finally Egypt.

But Clay’s Reverie is a very tough game. One touch of the obstacles and Clay loses a life, his winsome form abruptly transformed into a horrid little skull. You have three chances to clear the level, starting from various checkpoints, otherwise all your progress is scotched and you have to start the level from the very beginning.

My Little Pony

Further variation is introduced by temporary power-ups. Using these, you can transform Clay into one of four different shapes, all with their own magical abilities.

The stone power-up makes him invincible, for example, and thus able to charge through the obstacles. The green leafy power-up thing makes him super slim and able to squeeze through narrow gaps.

Regardless, the game is still bottom-rupturingly hard, and these power-ups feel like they've been tacked on to make the game realistically playable. They’re presented at particular junctures, and whether or not you survive for long beyond these junctures is almost entirely down to whether or not you pick them up.

Outside the main challenge, there’s also a Survival mode, where you have to guide Clay through a randomly generated level in one of the four worlds and keep going for as long as you can.

It feels a bit like Whale Trail, and the game is actually more enjoyable for having a one-strike-and-you’re-out kind of approach, rather than one in which you constantly repeat a set stage when you get stuck.

With overbearingly loveable graphics and sound, Clay’s Reverie should come with a government health warning for diabetics. But it’s also very hard.

Which makes it something of a dichotomy, appealing most to the age group least able to overcome its formidable challenge.

Subscribe to Pocket Gamer on

Clay's Reverie

A great control scheme and cute concept, but teeth-gnashingly difficult. One for the masochists