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Subject: VGG QOTD 2019 May 14 - What's your favorite "clone" game? rss

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Today's question was submitted by Kyle:

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What's your favorite "clone" game? Specifically, games that are obvious, blatant knock-offs, copies, or re-skins of much better known games. (Not games about clones.)

Thank you for your submission, Kyle!
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Well, if we stretch the definition quite a bit, I'll say Age of Wonders. In 1999 it started out as one of the first successful "spiritual successors" to the already classic Master of Magic (don't ask me how a five-year-old game can be a classic, but it was). By the time AoW3 was released in 2014, the series had greatly overshadowed MoM as far as I'm concerned (my nostalgic feelings for the latter notwithstanding).

But I guess that's a spiritual successor, not truly a clone.

About the only clone games I've tried, I think, are Elven Legacy (more or less a 3D clone of Fantasy General) and Panzer Corps (a modernization of Panzer General). They're both good, but I have no problem with the original games; I'm still happy to play them. If I get in the mood for Panzer General, though, I'll probably play Panzer Corps instead. And some day I may do a little more with Fantasy Wars and Elven Legacy just to see if I can learn to like the 3D graphics.

Oh, I shouldn't neglect to mention Remnants of the Precursors, a Java-based clone of Master of Orion with a few handy new features and all-new artwork and music. It's a work in progress, and I guess I'm waiting till it's finished before I do much with it. For now, I just play the original game instead. But RotP certainly looks and sounds a lot better.
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The Evil Within- A slightly re themed Last of Us with Japanese sensibilities. I thought it was great, its negative point being how disjointed the world and story were which I thought subtracted, rather than added to the horror and fear aspect. It felt too disconnected from reality with the constant 'magical' environment changes. I think if they would have toned down this aspect the games theme would have been much more effective.

Legend of Grimrock- A Dungeon Master clone that showed the genre still had a place in modern gaming. My favorite of the clones too, very similar to Dungeon Master. Some of the secrets were too hard and I didnt like the lore /world/end boss as much.
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The question about 2D platformers the other day made me realize that, other than a few minutes here and there, I'd never really played any of the Metroid games prior to Metroid Prime.

Except, I kinda did, just not by name.
There was an old game called Vigilance on Talos V that I'd found as a demo (PC Gamer?) or as a shareware version somewhere along the line, and it was pretty fun, albeit short. A few years after the fact I found out that it was basically a direct copy of Super Metroid, with different graphics and a few other very minor tweaks to gameplay. It's not in the VGG database, but a good writeup about it can be found here: http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/vigilance-on-talos-v/

-----------------------------

Two other notable "clones" that I recall fondly:


Way back when my family first got our Commodore 64, an uncle set us up with a pile of copied discs with all sorts of games and programs on them (in hindsight, most if not all were probably pirated).
One of them was "Super Mario Bros.", except that beyond the first level or two everything was completely different from the NES version, and a lot of other little things about the game were just slightly... off.
It was still a lot of fun to play, and we even figured out over time that a few of the levels were completely broken. One was "completed" by falling into a nearly unavoidable pit early on. If you actually managed to get past it and survive the exceedingly difficult path to the end (think of low-level Super Mario Maker craziness), you ran into a wall and got stuck until the timer ran out, because the screen scrolling only went one way. D'oh!
I remembered looking up the game again several years ago, and eventually figured out that it was a reskin of a Giana Sisters game, which has a bit of a story to it about the release date on the VGG page.


Rise of the Triad (also not in the VGG database) was another odd one that I'd always assumed was a clone/knock-off of Wolfenstein 3D that fell into the gap just before Doom (1993) landed, but it turns out was actually created by Apogee Software (3D Realms) themselves. It wasn't particularly good, but was kinda fun for the time and did have some neat features to it, like breakable glass, and the way they faked elevations by putting floating platforms all over the place.
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The Clone Wars! whistle

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Minetest (http://www.minetest.net/), which (as Minecraft, too) is "inspired" by Infiniminer
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That's a tough one.

If we take a broad view of what counts as a clone, it would be Ōkami for owing so much to the Legend of Zelda, but I don't think it quite meets the standard of being a more blatant copy or knock-off.

Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, on the other hand, is a straight clone of Super Mario 64. I revisited it last year... and taking from my comments on it:

Quote:
Power Cells are Stars, Scout Flies are Red Coins, and Precursor Orbs are regular coins. There are three thresholds for collecting power cells that allow you to fight a boss and move onto a new level hub throughout the game.

The game doesn't really disguise this at all... which is weird I guess, but all these years later my feeling is that there weren't many games like this overall, and this one displays genuine craft.


It's a reasonably good game, not great, but probably my best candidate for this question.

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Um I don't think I've played one? If I had, it would definitely be my favourite.

Yeah there are a few "zelda clones" around. e.g. Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Seas, although I haven't played that. What about match-3 games, are they clones? Then HuniePop. Can we call Medal of Honor a COD clone? Then Medal of Honor (2010).
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Oh I have a better answer!

Tomb Raider (2013), which is an Uncharted clone!
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manukajoe wrote:
Oh I have a better answer!

Tomb Raider (2013), which is an Uncharted clone!


Also a really good answer. I'd say it's the 2nd best Uncharted game out of all 5 of them.

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bulldog93 wrote:
The Clone Wars! whistle

If nothing else, having an Asoka avatar..
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who has implicit ties to The Clone Wars, and mentioning...

Quote:
(Not games about clones.)


… is many delicious layers of ingredients that make up our irony and synergy lasagna


Speaking of which....

Badlands was an EXCELLENT one in that regard. Storywise, I think all of those things you control are clones? wow Or some "mama" out there is really breeding them. Either way, there seems to be some science laboratory involved (I've been meaning to look up the game's background).

Gameplay wise, it's a clone of the hold Helicopter game. Notable changes here include but not limited to:
-better graphics
-flexibility
Touching a wall, floor or ceiling isn't instant death. It just slows you down (of which THAT could kill you)
-powerups
Multiply, shrink (to fit into tight areas), enlarge (to knock down doors, debris, and other loose obstacles), harden (unaffected by spikes, slow-mo (makes it easier to respond to stuff), move faster (make it past closing doors in time), etc.
-variety of obstacles
buzz saws, spiked surfaces, spikes that actually shoot out, closing and opening gates, vacuums, switches you need to press to open doors or turn off vacuums, and lasers. And oh, lasers
-achievements
Some of these were freaking crazy. I delved into these minimally, but it gives experts and hardcore players more to come back to
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Probably Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide, which is basically a Warhammer-themed Left 4 Dead. It borrowed a lot of that game's DNA, most obviously the special Skaven who are translated almost beat-for-beat from some of L4Ds (and its sequel's) special foes.

manukajoe wrote:
Oh I have a better answer!

Tomb Raider (2013), which is an Uncharted clone!


Oh man, that's not my impression at all! Tomb Raider plays barely anything like Uncharted. Sure, it owes a lot of its thematic content to the series, but tone-wise, and mechanics-wise the two are almost entirely different!
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ackmondual wrote:

irony and synergy lasagna


Thumbs up for that phrase alone.
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Lord_Kristof wrote:
Probably Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide, which is basically a Warhammer-themed Left 4 Dead. It borrowed a lot of that game's DNA, most obviously the special Skaven who are translated almost beat-for-beat from some of L4Ds (and its sequel's) special foes.

manukajoe wrote:
Oh I have a better answer!

Tomb Raider (2013), which is an Uncharted clone!


Oh man, that's not my impression at all! Tomb Raider plays barely anything like Uncharted. Sure, it owes a lot of its thematic content to the series, but tone-wise, and mechanics-wise the two are almost entirely different!


Are you talking about the overall TR series or the 2013 reboot?

I actually think that comparisons of the 2013 Tomb Raider to the Uncharted trilogy have been understated. TR 2013 owes just about everything to Uncharted, gameplay included. Of course it has the silly horror-gore vibe, it has a slight layer of collectible clutter that goes beyond the treasure-hunting in Uncharted, and it has minimal crafting and upgrading, but in my mind those things amount to about a 5% variation.

I do agree that, with Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider, it has started to branch off more into its own thing.

Uncharted wouldn't exist without the popularity of the original TR games, so that's why I'm not sure if we're talking about the same thing. But TR's popularity/viability was in trouble for all of the early 2000s, and Underworld, released 1 year after the first Uncharted, was a flop (and a bad game).

TR 2013 could have been titled: Uncharted: Wrath of the Sun Queen, and all you would have needed to do was rename Lara and give her some tangential connection to Nathan Drake.
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The only clone games I can think of that I have played are Zelda-like games Spiritual Warfare and The Hobbit (2003) and Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure which has elements from Mario, Sonic and Kirby games, but I don't really like those games that much. And what's funny is that although Level 3 of Cosmo is like a tree section of Grape Garden in Kirby's Adventure, I recently realized that Kirby's Adventure didn't release until the year after Cosmo.
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Would Doom be considered a clone of Castle Wolfenstein? If so I say that. The definition of 'clone' was certainly more loose back then. For a while every first-person shooter was a 'doom clone'.
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20XX is a fun Mega Man Xclone with roguelike gameplay and 2 player co-op.

Lately, I've been playing Overload, which is a great modern Descentclone/successor made by a number of the lead people who made the original Descent.

The Star Wars Battlefront series started out as a series of Battlefield clones set in the Star Wars universe, and I like them.
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Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds which is a clone of Age of Empires II.
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A lot of the FPS games back in the 90's all seemed to be inspired or cloned from each other. You could say Duke Nukem 3D is kind of a clone to Doom, and Shadow Warrior (1997) is an re-themed version of Duke Nukem, mostly. All good games, though.

Is Blaz Blue a clone of Guilty Gear?

When does a game become "inspired by", instead of the more derogatory "clone" word?
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GibbRS wrote:
When does a game become "inspired by", instead of the more derogatory "clone" word?

For me, that depends on if the game credits or game developers working on the game come out and say the game was "inspired by ___"

Often clones don't say where they got their inspiration, they take without giving back to their roots.

Hero U: Rogue to Redemption was created by the same people who worked on Quest for Glory and it the spiritual successor of Quest for Glory. So it is very much "inspired by".

Meanwhile Yeti Town was a direct clone of Triple Town to the point where the developers of Triple Town sued and Yeti Town no longer exists.

Though not all clones are like that...
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Gerdion wrote:
Would Doom be considered a clone of Castle Wolfenstein? If so I say that. The definition of 'clone' was certainly more loose back then. For a while every first-person shooter was a 'doom clone'.
I think Doom was considered a clone at first, until everyone collectively realized how much better it was than Wolf3D, then everything after became "Doom clones" instead.

There were a number of games written off as clones of Command & Conquer and Warcraft back then too, at least until there were enough around to hit the critical mass needed to consider real-time-strategy its own genre.


Another cloned game that just came to mind was Jazz Jackrabbit. It was basically Sonic the Hedgehog, but a green rabbit... with a gun. I'd briefly played the original JJ, but it must have been fairly successful because there are several different versions and sequels in the VGG database.
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adularia25 wrote:
GibbRS wrote:
When does a game become "inspired by", instead of the more derogatory "clone" word?

For me, that depends on if the game credits or game developers working on the game come out and say the game was "inspired by ___"

Often clones don't say where they got their inspiration, they take without giving back to their roots.

Hero U: Rogue to Redemption was created by the same people who worked on Quest for Glory and it the spiritual successor of Quest for Glory. So it is very much "inspired by".

Meanwhile Yeti Town was a direct clone of Triple Town to the point where the developers of Triple Town sued and Yeti Town no longer exists.

Though not all clones are like that...


Good point. Grim Dawn is made by a lot of the same people who worked on Titan Quest. From an outsider view, it could look like Grim Dawn cloned Titan Quest, but it's certainly more of an inspired/spiritual successor type of situation. It's amazing how similar Crate Entertainment made Grim Dawn to Titan Quest, though.
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adularia25 wrote:
Often clones don't say where they got their inspiration, they take without giving back to their roots.

Oh, like Led Zeppelin songs, then.
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
adularia25 wrote:
Often clones don't say where they got their inspiration, they take without giving back to their roots.

Oh, like Led Zeppelin all music, then.


FTFY.
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