Game Review: Caelum

One cannot talk about the game: “Caelum” without talking about PopCap’s game “Peggle”. The bottom line up front on “Caelum” is that although Ap Games did add a couple of new features, this downloadable game is a barely disguised clone of the widely popular “Peggle.”

The story, such as it is, involves you playing the part of a robot, named, in a fit of originality, Rob. Rob has been sent into space to collect energy for a depleted Earth. Between levels you get to see excerpts from Rob’s diary. Some of them are mildly amusing, but they really don’t advance the game much and are easily skipped.

The game play is simplicity it’s self. Given a screen full of pegs, called orbs, you drop a ball in an attempt to wipe out all the red pegs. After dropping the ball you have virtually no control over its course. In “Caelum” there is a sliding pan at the bottom that forces the ball back to the top of the screen to fall yet again; also, there is the ability to jolt the screen, which is like hitting a flipper in an old table pinball game. However, this feature turns out to be pretty useless during game play. After a few tries at affecting the ball with the jolt feature and seeing it doesn’t really do anything, you will just stop messing with it.

The graphics are serviceable for this kind of downloadable puzzle game, but are not special at all. You can easily follow the ball as it falls through the orb field and what else do you need from the graphics? The sound is serviceable, if nothing special, and doesn’t distract from the game play at all. It tends to be repetitive, but you can always just turn the speakers off.

Of course, as stated above, this game doesn’t rate high in the creativity and innovation categories. If you have ever played “Peggle” then there is not much different in playing “Caelum” except the pace is even slower. The new features such as the “jolt” feature really don’t add much that is new. In fact, it is a wonder that the game developer spent any time trying to add “new” features to the game rather than just changing the colors, the name, etc., and sending this clone out into the world.

“Caelum” is not really worth $9.95 American. Ultimately it turns out that this downloadable game is a repetitive, derivative, bore-fest copy of a much better, more original and more playable game.

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