Review: Gunman Clive
Gunman Clive is a 2D platformer/shooter that’s just recently hit the 3DS eShop and has been on Smartphone devices for some time now. The game features a lot of classic 2D platformer elements, while having a strong emphasis on stylistic visuals and great audio design. What’s more amazing about the game is that by the end of it, you realize the whole thing was created by two people. Much like Cave Story, it’s pretty amazing to see what some individuals can accomplish with their concept, vision and dedication.
The visual style of Gunman Clive uses a paper like effect which ends up looking as if someone has hand drawn a sketch and added a western filter. The visuals are further enhanced through the 3D effect on the 3DS. You’ll get a nice sense of layering between the foreground and background environments. The visual presentation is fairly clean and simplistic, but it’s because of this that it stands out, it has a lot of charm. To top it all off, the audio design is great, with retro sound effects for guns and some catchy music throughout each level.
The controls work very well, never feeling as if when you die that it’s the game fault, rather it’s your own. There are only a few enemy types throughout the game, and as you defeat them they’ll either drop a power up for your gun or a piece of cake, which is used to regain health. However, if you get hit once, you lose your power up and your gun restores itself to the default. The boss fights are excellent, as they each have a distinct visual style to them and have a specific tactic in order to defeat them. These are easily one of the most enjoyable parts of the game.
As you progress through the Gunman Clive’s 20 levels, you’ll see a variety of gameplay ideas introduced. You’ll have to roll on boulders to avoid falling onto spikes for an instant death, ride in a cart through a mine type area (a la Donkey Kong Country), to walking through areas where the gravity shifts depending on where the arrows are pointing on the wall (similar to that of some levels in Super Mario Galaxy 2). These concepts are all executed really well, it’s unfortunate that these ideas aren’t fully realized. The game is over too soon, and you’ll be craving more. Each level lasts around 1-2 minutes each and completing the game in one play through on normal difficulty took about 40 minutes. However, there is some (though little) incentive for you to replay the game. There’s another character to play who controls slightly different, as well as an unlockable character once you beat the game the first time. You can also go back and play the game on a harder difficulty level.
Gunman Clive is a stylized, distinct 2D Platformer/Shooter and a welcomed addition to the 3DS eShop. Despite it’s length, the game has a lot of great concepts and would be a great buy for 2D platformer/Shooter fans. The $1.99 price doesn’t hurt either.
Why it may be helpful for people with anxiety
- The easy and normal difficulty modes will make sure you’ll have an enjoyable time
- There’s not a big penalty for dying
- The music is pretty catchy and relaxing
- It’s only $1.99
Why it may be unhelpful for people with anxiety
- Playing on hard mode might cause issues as it’s for skilled players and requires more precision
- The boss fights can be pretty tense
Why you should be playing this game
Gunman Clive is a game that any 2D Platformer/Shooter fan should check out. The low barrier to entry of $1.99, the impressively polished visual and audio design and creative Platformer mechanics are definitely worth playing through. It’s also incredible to see how two people’s work on a project turned into this awesome indie title.
This review was based on the 3DS version that was provided by the reviewer.
Gunman Clive Trailer:
January 3rd, 2013
Great visual design, Great audio design, Fun platformer, Tight controls
Too short, Lacks replayability