If you had a small, slimy, grey ball of clay in your hands, what would you do? Squash it? That's just what the evil witch doctor Jobo plans to do. The only trouble is that the impressionable lad Clayton is the squashee! After being zapped into a ball of clay, Clayton must save his dad from Jobo and find ajar of serum to get his boyish figure back.
ProTip: If you already have an extra clay ball for shooting, don 't touch like-colored clay balls -- they'll do you no good. Save them for later.
Claymates is a visually grabbing side-scroller from Interplay that you can't help but like. Like its fightin' friend Clay Fighter, Claymates features actual claymation. The characters were modeled in clay, photographed, and digitized into the game to create a unique look and a new twist on an otherwise overused game concept.
In World One, Level Four, you have to hit the levers to turn off the steam jets and clear the way for safe passage.
The appeal of this 'mate is definitely in the unique cast of hero characters. You start out as a ball of clay with only limited jumping ability and a powerful fist. As you find color-coded balls of clay, you turn into one of five clay animals: a cat, a mouse, a fish, a gopher, and a bird. Despite their dopey names, each of these animals has unique talents, weapons, and weaknesses. This power-up system is similar to Super Mario's -- take a hit and you return to the small, weakened state of the clay ball. Take another hit and you're road pizza.
The Proof Is in the Claying
Other than the transformation ability and the innovative animation routines, Claymates is a typical, but enjoyable platform hop-n-bopper. You traverse five big worlds en route to rescuing your dad, with four levels per world. Enemies come in all sizes and shapes, from little clay globs to evil Claymate clones to giant flying dogs. The claymation really stands out when you fight the big bosses!
- Use rapid jumps to clear spikes in the water. If you're not fast enough, you'll sink and be poked.
- Muckster can make high and long jumps if you build up enough speed.
- Muckster can grab walls in midair if you hold Up.
The game imitates Mario more than any other game. You explore each world to find the exit, searching for midway continue markers, power-up clay balls, extra points, and secret areas. You'll find some nice diversions in the game, such as a Mode 7 "superball" bonus stage and overworld map puzzles, where you guide robots as they smash barricades to clear the way to the next level.
- To beat the big Dog Boss of World One, stay a few steps away and watch for him to try to land on you. Run under him and hit him with acorns.
- Punch to increase the speed of the robots on the Overworld Map.
Fortunately, the controls aren't made out of clay. You move with reasonable agility, but there are also times when it's hard to turn around or jump precisely. Claymates was designed with a young audience in mind, but the game doesn't skimp on the challenge. This one can reach the "controller-throwing" frustration level, especially during the harder mazes. However, you never get totally discouraged as continues are unlimited. The warp zones, which enable you to skip worlds, are also nice.
One warp zone is hidden in each of the first four worlds. In World One, Level One, jump on the first flower you find four times. This will warp you to World Two.
Graphics are Clay's strongest suit. The weak point is the background art, which is reused from level to level. The pop-off-the-screen animation earns the game a high mark, anyway.
- You need to be a fish out of water to finish World Two, Level One.
- Run back and forth to build up speed for Doh-Doh's flight.
Claymates has fun finger- snapping songs and sharp sound effects. (Listen for Muckster's squeal when he takes a hit.) Be warned, though: If you hate bouncy kiddie music and repetitive theme songs, Claymates may drive you bonkers.
Good Things Come to Those Who Clay
Claymates certainly won't open any eyes with its game play. However, the cool look of the game's characters and the length of the game give you enough reason to fire up Claymates. This one was cut from the right mold.
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- # of players: 1
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Available: 1st Qtr. '94
- Theme: Action
- Number of Levels: 34+
The story unfolds in Mudville, USA as your father, Professor Putty, has been busy trying to invent a serum to turn people into clay, believe it or not.
The only problem is that Professor Putty doesn't realize that the evil Witch Doctor Jobo already has this mystical power, and is going to put a stop to anyone who tries to acquire it. The jealous Witch Doctor Jobe captures your father and transforms you into a ball of clay. To rescue your father from the evil clutches of Jobe is going to take all of your strength, courage and determination. Your adventure begins in your own backyard but will cover many areas throughout the world. Little does the Witch Doctor know that when he turned you into a ball of clay, he also gave you the ability to transform into different animals as you search for hidden pieces of clay throughout your vast journey across the globe. Claymates features large, complex levels, tons of power-ups and awesome bonus levels.
After being turned into a pile of clay by an evil witch doctor, you decide to try to regain your human form. To do this, you must play through a variety of strange worlds, where your only weapon is the ability to transform into other forms. For example, you can climb trees as a cat or run lightning fast as a mouse. Claymates has you transforming all the time!
Claymates is an exciting action game by Interplay. The backgrounds resemble a cartoon, and fit the theme of the game quite well. The control is top-notch, and the action is addicting. Secrets abound in Claymates, and trying to find them all is an adventure in itself. The sound effects are very well done, and it seems that Interplay has done a swell job with this game. Where else can you change forms so many times?