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Gunman Clive (Video Game Review)

Gunman Clive is a new indie title from developer Hörberg Productions. The game takes inspirations from classic action platformers such as the Mega Man series and casts players as the game's title character on a quest to save the mayor's daughter in a Old West setting. Gunman Clive features a unique art style that is rarely seen in video games and is mostly successful in doing so, though there will obviously be some gamers that find the shaded drawings distracting from the main gameplay. Most importantly, Gunman Clive is a competent release that is actually pretty fun and can be downloaded for really cheap, so there is really no reason not to add it to your favorite platform library.

Gunman Clive's influences begin with the game's storyline that is set in the year 18XX. Players control one of the fastest guns in the West named Gunman Clive on a quest to save Mayor Johnson's daughter from a group of nasty thugs and bandits. The game's main campaign plays out over 16 levels that each offer unique platforming sections as well as some larger than life boss encounters to produce a game that is charming and fun to play even if it's not completely original in its ideas.

Clive has the ability to run, jump and shoot, as you'd expect, but the game does a nice job of mixing up enemy variety, whether this means regular pistol toting criminals, giant robot bosses or deadly spike pits. Clive can absorb a decent amount of damage before being forced to restart, and there are some gun upgrades that can be picked up to increase the damage Clive's gun does or increase the amount of bullets that sprays from the barrel as well.

Earlier platforming puzzles in Gunman Clive has the character simply trying to make it from one side of the screen to the other while fighting enemies and dodging incoming attacks before introducing moving platforms and hazards that can cause instant deaths. There are even some levels that feature traps that make Clive fly off in a certain direction or reverse gravity and walk on the ceiling. The game is never to difficult to progress though, and there is a decent variety of traps that helps make each new area feel different from another.

There are three playable characters featured in Gunman Clive. The human characters each have their own strengths and weaknesses but play rather similar. There is also an unlockable Duck character for completing the game for the first time that will completely change the way players deal with the same campaign levels. The Duck only has the ability to jump and fly, so killing enemies isn't a real option, but making it across some of the more dangerous jumps in the game can be made easier with the new character. Both ways of playing the game's campaign are different, but players will find there is little reason to play through each way more than once.

Gunman Clive features a unique art style that looks like children's drawings come to life. The game shows off clear lines and coloring that sometimes smears out of the drawing, and the color palette used in the game features light hues that are never too bright or distracting from the gameplay. The aesthetic choice works well for the Western setting of the game, and it's done well to the point players will notice dust flying up from their cowboy boots at times. Bullets get a darker color to easily distinguish from the background, so while there is nothing wrong with the game's graphics from a design standpoint, some gamers are sure to find that it's not their cup of tea.

The remainder of Gunman Clive's presentation is rounded out with controls that are easy to use and responsive, though the game does control considerably worse on touch screen, mobile devices. It's worth noting that the Steam version of the game does come with full controller support for gamers that don't enjoy games with mouse and keyboard. The game's graphics and setting is complimented with a soundtrack that easily fits the Old West theme.

Gunman Clive is a good game that is a smart purchase at only $1.99. Gamers will find few problems with the game other than longevity and possible issues with the aesthetic choice the game utilizes, and it should fit easily within any gamer's budget. While we prompted to test the game primarily on 3DS, we also gave it a go on PC, which offers multiple playable characters and some exciting boss battles along with good level design to make the game fun for a while and one of the better releases to recently release on PC in the early part of 2014. Whatever platform you decide to play on, it appears that the game holds up well across all of them. Head out West in Gunman Clive on Steam, Desura, Nintendo 3DS or mobile today!

Gunman Clive is now available for Steam, Desura, Nintendo 3DS, iOS and Android and can be purchased for $1.99. Gunman Clive is rated E by the ESRB for Fantasy Violence. For more information on the game, check out the official Gunman Clive website.

Game Features:
  • Single Player
  • 3 Playable Characters
  • Cheap Price Tag
  • Unique Art Style
  • Achievement Support

Game Information:
Developer & Publisher: Hörberg Productions
Platforms: PC (short run through), Mac, Nintendo 3DS (primarily reviewed), iOS & Android
Release Date: January 3, 2014

Score: 7.5 out of 10

  • Unique style
  • Good level design
  • Low price
  • Levels can be overly difficult 
  • Some players may dislike the game's aesthetic choices
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