Claymates: Another Malleable 2D SNES Platformer

Claymates on the Super Nintendo
Clay.

Claymation was a big deal on the SNES. The ClayFighter game had it, plus… this little number in the form of Claymates. Let’s reminisce!

A Brief History of Claymates

Launched in April 1994 by Visual Concepts and Danger Productions,  had a big thing about clay.

Yes, it was also responsible for the bloody ClayFighter series. What gives?

The SNES was pretty adept at handling that sort of graphical style, so they must have figured they were onto a winner with this one.

And to be fair, this thing met with very positive reviews! But does it stack up now?

Well, yes and no. It launched on the Nintendo Switch SNES catalogue recently and we gave it a whirl really not expecting much.

But within 60 seconds we’d transformed into a mouse and were pelting at lightning speed through an underground area collecting stuff. It was mental!

Such delights didn’t last long, though, as we soon began having niggles with Claymates. Mainly:

  • The control system is too loose.
  • Level structures are a bit generic and unrewarding.
  • It’s a bit boring.

The problem is it just doesn’t stack up against the console’s best platformers.

Considering Super Metroid (one of the greatest games of all time) launched a week before Claymates, you’d have to be seriously out of touch to plump for this over Nintendo’s classic.

For what it’s worth, you can see in the above clip you can hit some serious running speeds (clearly an idea taken from Sonic games).

And you can morph into different creatures, all of which have different abilities.

The whole plot is about a boy called Clayton, who has a scientist father whose invented a serum that lets people transform into animals (when the serum is mixed with clay).

This thing called Jobo the witch doctor turns up demanding the serum. Clayton’s father refuses to share it and the whole plot of Clayton trying to save his father from Jobo unravels.

Yeah, pretty standard stuff. And you head out into stages to get the job done.

We can see why the reviews at the time were positive as Claymates must have seemed pretty interesting.

It’s just nothing is executed particularly well. The levels are meandering and predictable.

So, it’s worth a shot on your Nintendo Switch if you fancy playing a title immediately obliterated by a Nintendo masterpiece.

But otherwise it’s something of a forgettable title from the SNES’ otherwise exceptional catalogue.

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