cloudphobia is a doujin horizontal shoot 'em up game developed by Marsbound, and was released during Winter Comiket C77 on December 30, 2009 for Windows PC. The game takes place in a war-torn future on Mars during an ongoing battle against The Empire and those looking for independence from it. As the Empire was testing their latest prototype fighter, the "EAM-10P Englar", a sudden attack was unleashed from its pilot "EG-04 Mist", a telepathic girl who was raised in a military research facility, has lost control of herself and unwittingly stages an all-out attack against the rebellion. The rebellion narrowly survived an attack from its powerful beam weapon, however, in order stop the enemy from preparing for another attack, they make one last-ditch effort against the Empire before its too late.
In cloudphobia, players take control of the "EAF-06 Loftárása" and can choose between one of two weapons — the PLG-90 laser ignition rifle or the Núllpunktur vibroblade — while armed with a handful of missile salvos as they shoot or slice their way through the game's five stages against an armada of fighters, mechs, and battleships. Unlike most shoot 'em ups, the player's mech isn't a One-Hit-Point Wonder as they have a Life Meter instead, however, players are under a strict time limit and must quickly beat each stage as possible, so they must utilize the boosters of the Loftárása to quickly advance through the stages in time. There's a catch: in order to keep players from simply ignoring enemies altogether and rush to the end, any enemy that leaves the screen will attack their mothership supporting them, and if it is destroyed, the game will also be over, so players must manage when they'll use the Loftárása's boosters and minimize between damage between them and their mothership.
The game was localized by Rockin' Android in 2013 through Amazon and was later re-released to Steam in 2016, featuring improved controller support, HD resolutions with optional smoothing filter, online leaderboards, and Steam Achievements.
cloudphobia provides examples of the following tropes:
- 2½D: cloudphobia uses a 3D engine for its visuals, but its gameplay is 2D and uses sprites, but in some instances the game takes advantage of the 3D space for lighting/effects and uses polygonal models.
- Achievement System: Implemented on the Steam re-release of the game, featuring achievements such as clearing a stage without taking damage, clearing X stage under an estimated time, or score an X-amount combo.
- All There in the Manual: The game's plot isn't explained within the game itself, however the game's manual sheds some light on the game's plot and characters.
- Boring, but Practical: The PLG-90 rifle, as you'll be relegated to simply shooting your enemies down, it can do a decent amount of damage to enemies, encouraging players to keep their distance to avoid colliding into enemies or obstacles when possible while boosting.
- Collision Damage: Touching an enemy or hazardous obstacle will damage you if your mech's body comes into contact with them.
- Combos: Destroying enemies in quick succession will create a Hit Combo chain that gives you a score bonus.
- Difficult, but Awesome: The Núllpunktur vibroblade, which requires you to risk taking damage by getting close to fight enemies, however, the first two swings of its blade can deal a high amount of damage while its spin attack can shred through most popcorn enemies, and getting close to enemies can also reward Near-Miss Bonuses.
- Difficulty Levels: You start with Easy and Normal difficulties when you start playing the game. The Hard mode is unlocked after beating the game.
- Escort Mission: You're tasked with protecting the off-screen mothership by destroying enemies. Enemies that escape the screen will attack the mothership. If the mothership's health runs out, the game ends, regardless of your own remaining health.
- Gameplay Grading: You are graded based on the amount of destruction you've done against enemies, clear time, how much damage you've taken, and combo chain, which affects how much shield your mech gets back, how much damage is repaired on the mothership, and how much missile stock you get back. You're given an extra bonus for no damaging your way through the stage.
- Katanas Are Just Better: The Núllpunktur resembles a katana, and has a sheath with it.
- Life Meter: The Shield Meter, which represents your mech's health, and below that is the Mothership's shield meter.
- Macross Missile Massacre: Players perform a powerful missile barrage attack that can deal high damage to enemies out of their reach, and each successive hit with the missile gives a score multiplier when destroying enemies with it. In some stages, players dodges through an oncoming barrage of missiles, some of which go in and out of the 2.5D foreground and background.
- Meta Multiplayer: The Steam re-release of the game features online leaderboards.
- Nintendo Hard: Par for the course for a shoot 'em up, however players are given only a single life and must play through the full game if they want to see the ending as there's no way to resume from a previously cleared stage from the Stage Select screen (it serves for practicing them), adding to the already hectic nature of the game.
- Outrun the Fireball: In stage 4, after destroying the core of the battleship you flew into, you have to boost your way out of the ship before the explosion catches up to you and kills you. All while you have to fight the endboss.
- Regional Bonus: Rockin' Android added some quality of life updates for the game for its overseas version.
- Scoring Points: Beyond shooting down enemies for score, there's your Hit Combo chain, which will increase the value of destroying commander (red) type enemies. Using your missiles against enemies will trigger a multiplier, starting from x2 from the first two shots of the salvo, then increases up to x16 from the final shot. Players can gain Near-Miss Bonuses by grazing projectiles or getting close to enemies without touching them. There are extra score to be earned from their end-stage performance grading in between stages.
- Sprite/Polygon Mix: The game features sprites for most of the mechs and aircrafts while some effects, battleships, and stages are rendered in 3D polygons. The metallic surfaces of mechs and machinery also have dynamic reflections.
- Timed Mission: The entire game is one as you must quickly get to the end of each stage and defeat the boss within a time limit. This is tied to the story within the first stage as the rebellion are attempting to stop another attack from the Englar within 3 minutes according to the manual.
- Transforming Mecha: Some of the mecha enemies are shown to take form of fighter crafts before they change to their mech forms.
- Updated Re-release: The overseas version by Rockin' Android adds support for higher resolutions than the original Japanese release, improved controller support, and online leaderboards for the Steam version.
- Weapon Twirling: The secondary attack of the Núllpunktur, which is done by holding the Fire button after swinging it.