>>Community Game Brief
At first glance, Clover may seem like another attempt to capture the magic of Braid, but it’s actually a lot more subversive than that. Barely hidden within this medieval mystery are jabs at Fox News, the Bush administration, and 9/11. Too soon? Maybe, but this attention-grabbing allegory is undermined by some tedious fetch-questing.
Clover is a 2D platformer heavily influenced by point-and-click adventure games. The majority of the game is spent figuring out which items are used in which places. With an extremely limited and sloppy inventory system you end up spending most of your time moving items back and forth through the world. Like many of the adventure games Clover is inspired by, the puzzles often seem illogical. This makes getting stuck a regular and nightmarishly frustrating occurence.
The story takes place in the land of Sanha, where the “Intrepid Fox News” reports the sinking of a ship by foreign pirates. As you explore and investigate, it becomes clear that the ship incident may actually be an inside job. The allegory is beaten into your head with the grace of a mallet to a watermelon. That it presents criticisms and challenging ideas is exciting, but ultimately irrelevant. The lack of subtlety is almost insulting – the developers ask their audience to think, but hold their hands so tightly they cannot make their own conclusions.