CloudKid may have made a game that stars a gloomy rain cloud, but it’s actually one of the happiest titles we’ve played this year. The deception doesn’t end there either: the game may be geared towards a younger crowd, but Negative Nimbus delivers a level of originality and charm that is sure to pique anyone’s interest.

Negative Nimbus tells the story of a cloud that has a hard time making friends. Clouds, after all, are meant to bring rain wherever they go, but the problem with Nimbus is that he just can’t hold it in. Add to that the fact that he lives in the upbeat town of Sunnyland, and you know he’s going to need some help fitting in.

Developed by: CloudKid
Published by: CloudKid
Genre: Side-Scrolling Puzzler
Platform: iPad, iPhone
What works: Wonderful presentation | Charming characters and settings | Simple and fun level design
What doesn’t work: The fun ends too soon

Each level features Nimbus side-scrolling his way down a path lined with flower buds and happy-go-lucky townsfolk just minding their business. Nimbus is always raining, so you’ll need to tap and hold the screen whenever he floats over someone to stop him for a few seconds. As you successfully avoid drenching people, the game’s speed increases creating more of a challenge as you make your way to the finish line. Later levels also make things harder by introducing flower buds buried under mounds of dirt or trapped in cages requiring you to tap or slide the screen to free them before they can get water.

Some levels also include a support item in the form of Bill the Umbrella, Nimbus’s best friend who floats with him for a short time making sure he rains on the right targets. Watering a trio of sunflowers activates a rainbow that grants a score multiplier bonus too. There aren’t any online leaderboards though, so the only scores you’ll be competing with are your own. While it may seem like there’s a lot going on in each level, the action is never overwhelming and the overall experience is as much relaxing as it is rhythmic.

Being CloudKid’s first iOS game, Negative Nimbus also feels like a labor of love, featuring plenty of cute characters and settings that make it a joy to play through. Some of the residents you’ll meet include two pieces of bread playing jump-rope with a slice of cheese and even a bar of soap on his way to work, all of whom might not appreciate getting hit by a raincloud. It’s a shame the game doesn’t last very long and only includes 24 levels that can be completed in less than an hour or so. The developers are, however, expecting to add more levels in the coming months to further add to its replay value.

While the game isn’t particularly difficult either, it does contain plenty of in-game achievements as well as various extras including hats for Nimbus and a whole collection of comics to read. Kids, as well as adults, will really enjoy reading through the humorous comics as they truly invite you into the world of Sunnyland and all its kooky inhabitants.

There’s no reason why we wouldn’t recommend giving Negative Nimbus a try. For only a dollar, the game delivers a fun and uncomplicated experience to gamers of all ages and does it in a way that invites them into its colorful world of characters. Plus, it’s sure to put a smile on your face.

Negative Nimbus is currently available on iPad for $.99. An iPhone version will launch in November and on Android devices by 2013.

About The Author

Giancarlo Saldana is Blast's Gaming Editor. Follow him on Twitter @giansaldana to read his daily musings about the world of video games.

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