Gunman Clive review: cowboys and aliens finally done right!
Iain Garner | On January 9, 2014 at 4:00 pm
Ok, so Gunman Clive is old now and when I mentioned it in my Stingy Scotsman’s cheap choices post I didn’t intend to review it in depth. However, some games deserve a write-up regardless of their age. Gunman Clive is available for iOS, Android, PC, Mac and 3DS and was created by one man, Bertil Hörberg, who has my eternal respect for single handedly producing a game better than many teams can produce.
A note for your sanity
Before I go into the review it must be noted that I played this game using the 3DS; meaning that I used physical controls, not touch-screen and I’m pretty sure that using a touch-screen would have sent me spiralling into the pits of madness. You have been warned.
The first thing you will notice about Gunman Clive is its cool look. The game has a unique hand-drawn style that is played in a sepia tint which gives a neat old school feel. It’s a really small thing but it gives the game a unique character that would have been lost had the developer chosen to go for a more technicolor palette.
At its heart Gunman Clive is a classic platformer complete with revolving platforms, disappearing blocks, and bouncing pads and like most classic platformers it is not easy. Any death means that Clive must restart the level from scratch which is fair considering most of the levels are only a few minutes long. Trust me though some of these level will take much much longer.
I never felt Gunman Clive was too strict with me and never once felt like blaming the game for my own inadequacies. Due to its incredibly simple gameplay every mistake was unarguably my own.
There are three characters to play as Clive, Mrs. Johnson and a third you unlock after completing the game. Mrs. Johnson is very princess Peach-like in that her skirt gives her a slight floatiness, but other than that the two characters are identical. I completed the game as Clive and when I have time I want to take Mrs. Johnson for a spin!
My only complaint about Gunman Clive is that it is too short, all in all about two and half hours total! I really didn’t want it to end when it did but in order to compensate for this there is an unlockable character. This unlockable character, which is unfortunately not in the PC version, forces you to play the game without weapons but gives you the advantage of a slight double jump.
Filled to the brim with creativity
The game starts with you chasing the captured Mrs. Johnson (or Clive if you chose to play as Mrs. Johnson) through a classic western setting. You fight in the streets outside the general store, in the saloon and on the open plains, its all very classic.
Then shit begins to get weird….
A classic steam train turns into a giant fire-breathing robot, alien beasties start to appear, and Clive/Mrs. Johnson end up riding a rocket ship to another planet. Every level has a unique feel to it and plays in a specific way. I don’t want to say too much and ruin it but the final boss fight is pretty damn epic.
Just buy it you cheapskate! Seriously its $1.99 and it is available for almost every platform under the sun so just buy it. Small developers like this need our support and when they put out an excellent product for an insanely reasonable price we really owe it to the community as whole to help these guys make more games in the future.