Review: Cloud Cutter is an Intense Reimagining of the Vertical Scrolling Shooter

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By Stan Rezaee on May 30th, 2021


Remember playing vertical scrolling shooters like 1942 or Aero Fighters at the arcade? Do wish to re-experience those classic games only with modern graphics and in the comfort of your own home? If so then Cloud Cutter hits all the right marks for a game that knows your nostalgia all too well. This is a game that takes everything one liked about those classic shooters and modernizes the overall experience. The result is a more intense version of your favorite arcade game.

Cloud Cutter is a fast-paced vertical scrolling shooter that gives you no room to breathe. It looks like a homage to 1942, but looks can be deceiving. The game will truly test a players skill and push them to the limit while also being so fun that they will want to try again. 

Kick the Tires and Light the Fires

Players take on the role of a fighter pilot who must battle waves of enemies in a variety of levels. There isn’t much of a story other than shooting the enemy and blow stuff up, but this not a game you come for the plot or character development.

Cloud Cutter is an intense game that strikes a balance between being nostalgic and creative. Gameplay has players moving their jet around the screen as they either take down the enemy while dodging their attacks. Along the way; you will pick up health and power-ups that will give you a slight edge. Each level has its unique theme while players will have to overcome numerous obstacles and waves of enemies before confronting the final boss.

This is one of those games that will be easy to learn but difficult to master. There is a short tutorial at the start and the gameplay is easy to learn. Players have the choice between using either a controller or a mouse and keyboard (both options have been properly optimized). When it comes to playing the game, one will be quick to realize that they need to better understand the world and have a plan (beyond shooting everything in sight). The first stage gives you a sample in the first minute before bombarding you with everything from all directions.

Compared to the classics that inspired it, Cloud Cutter stands out because of its detailed world. The levels are colorfully detailed while also somewhat destructible. Players will be fighting ground forces and emplacements while also crippling the enemy’s infrastructure for some quick points. At the same time, one could take out the enemy aircraft while they are still on the ground (and harmless to you). 

It’s also important to know that you could also enjoy the game with a friend. Players could team up and take to the skies through the multiplayer co-op just by plugging in another controller (or press A on the keyboard). If you played such games with a friend then the multiplayer is incredibly welcoming.

Welcome to the Danger Zone

Cloud Cutter only real problem is that if you die during the mission, you have to start over. There are no checkpoints (not even at the start of a boss fight) or limited continues, you gotta start the level from the beginning. This becomes annoyingly frustrating when you have battled your way to the boss and put up a good fight only to get knocked out because of a single bad move. Having continues during the mission or checkpoints before the boss fight would have been welcoming. 

Bogey in Sight

Cloud Cutter is a modern take on a classic setup that will test a players skill and push them to the limit. It has the look and fun of a classic vertical scrolling shooter but this is not the same game you played back in the day.

Disclaimer: Just Two ltd. provided the game used in this review.

Cloud Cutter is a modern take on a classic setup that will test a players skill and push them to the limit.

I'm a journalist and gamer from the Bay Area who has been writing about the medium for over five years.


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