There are a lot of tough areas to survive, and the desert is one of the most challenging with extreme heat and a lack of water. Cloud Chasers is a new game that challenges you to help father and daughter, Francisco and Amelia, survive crossing through five deserts in an attempt to reach the new land above the clouds in the desolate world they live in. The game provides an Oregon Trail type set-up as you need to deal with various events as you cross the desert landscape. There’s also a response management challenge mainly revolving around water that depletes with each step you take, but you can take to the skies to replenish your reserves.
Cloud Chasers has a detailed storyline that develops based on the different encounters that you will come across. The game balances plodding along the desert with an aerial gliding component that is used to collect water. You simply tap to move across the landscape, and once airborne in the glider, you simply tap either side of the screen to pilot through the clouds to collect water. On land, you can send out scouts to discover potential encounter points and each one will lead to story and a decision that can be of pros or cons. The desert journey is a slow one, to resemble the idea of crossing a desert, and it’s the most compelling part of the game. The aerial glider portion is a bit bland even with the inclusion of robots that are trying to suck up the clouds too.
There’s a non-linear storyline in Cloud Chasers as you come across different encounters each time you play, and no two runs play the same. As stated earlier, there are five deserts to cross, but you will likely die a few times. Luckily, restarting sends you on a new path with new encounters that will deliver interesting tidbits regarding Francisco and Amelia, as well as some tough decisions. The glider portion is essential for survival, but it doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the game, and it’s an odd overly simplistic inclusion that breaks the flow rather than nicely changing things up. The entire progression is a bit slow and methodical with some points that drag. Part of that fits with the theme, but part just loses some of the engagement for the player.
Cloud Chasers ($3.99, Universal) is an interesting survival challenge that isn’t perfect, but is worth picking up.