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[Preview] Claybook (Xbox)

Developed by Second Order, Claybook is now available for £11.99 as part of Xbox Game Preview. It is also an Xbox One X Enhanced title. Claybook is also available on PC (Steam) in early access for £15.49 and will be coming to PS4 soon but no date has been confirmed just yet. 

As the full game has not been released, this is just a preview! Upon the game’s full release, I will update the preview to a full review, as such, there will be no total score given at the end.

Claybook is a game made entirely of clay. Yes, you read that right. Absolutely everything is made from clay, including the little-shaped piece of clay that you possess to traverse the world around you. I would describe Claybook as a puzzle game first and foremost but with elements of exploration as there is so much more to each of the chapters than just the puzzles.

Visually, Claybook is quite mesmerising with just how much detail has been put into everything, from little ridges on your shape, to how the different colours on surfaces that you interact with start to blend into your own. I really love how the world of clay around you has been set up on a table and you can see a child with a joystick controlling you (the blob of clay), it reminded me of how much I loved playing with clay back when I was young.

The controls are responsive and simple, there are always prompts on screen to remind you if you happen to forget what you’re doing. My only criticism that has affected my gameplay is the camera angles, it is a bit of a nuisance to keep where you want it and sometimes will end up pretty much inside you which then, of course, needs rearranging again. I wish that there could be a fixed camera angle which intelligently keeps you centred from a distance.

Every movement will alter the shape, colour and integrity of everything around you and it is incredible just how accurate the physics are. Even the water, which is also made of clay, is reactive to your movements, splashing everywhere and at times, flooding literally everything. It took me a lot of getting used to having to control your object from every direction (I wobble constantly) but it gets easier with practice. There is also the incredibly thoughtful option of being able to 'stamp' your shape and rewind back time which enables you to try again. This is such a helpful feature and has been crucial to being able to complete a number of the chapters by being able to position my shape adequately enough to make a wonky set of stairs.

There are two books (for now) which have chapters within for you to play through. Each chapter has a set of tasks which you will need to complete to attain the best scores (a maximum of 3 stars) at the end. Each of the books begins with a tutorial to give you an idea of what you’ll be expected to do. Essentially, you will need to possess clay shapes around the worlds to fulfil each chapter’s requirements such as rerouting water, eating sweets or placing specific shapes in places just to name a few. If you need a little help, then you can play with up to 4 players locally. There are leaderboards so you can keep track on how quickly other players have managed to complete the chapters. It would be interesting to see if there will be some form of online ability in the future, but I have a feeling that its unlikely.

If you have a creative side, then there is the ability to create your very own book to share with the Claybook community. Don’t worry if you aren’t technically minded, the entire process is as uncomplicated as possible and provided you have a certain degree of patience, your construction skills will come into fruition right before your very eyes.

I am excited to see what more is brought into the world of Claybook and based on what I have played so far, there is a lot of potential for a lot more fun to be had. It is certainly something I haven't seen before! 

If you would like to take a look at Claybook in action then you can watch the trailer here:

Even though Claybook is in the preview programme, it has been released with achievements. There are 10 achievements available for a total of 1,000 Gamerscore. I have to say that it is a fantastic achievement list with obscure, imaginative and sometimes tricky achievements, I love it! If you happen to be an achievement hunter or strive to complete every single game, then you will be happy to know that this one is a fairly quick/trouble free completion. If you need any help or guidance with any of the achievements, then head over to True Achievements where you will find plenty of useful information.

A game code was provided for the purpose of this preview. Thank you!
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