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Gunman Clive HD Collection – The Switch Island Review

Gunman Clive and Gunman Clive 2, originally released on the 3DS are given the HD treatment for Switch and Wii-U in one complete offering and at an astonishingly low price.

“Don’t squat with your spurs on” is one saying my old man used to come out with from time to time when I was younger, and up to recently I had never given much thought to the meaning;  “think before you act”.  This is certainly something you need to consider when playing this little golden nugget of an indie game.

On face value, Gunman Clive HD seems to be a rather simplistic 2d action platformer, but give it a short while and the difficulty curve ramps up considerably, and before you know if your facing gravity defying sections and gloriously challenging boss fights that would give the likes of Mega-Man a run for his money.  Take your spurs off indeed!

Starting with the first Gunman Clive game, the style takes on a hand drawn, monochromatic quality which is used to great effect to represent a dusty Wild West frontier.  The animations remains fluid throughout and the characters look great in their 3d rendering, all backed up by a wonderful score hugely reminiscent of classic Hollywood westerns.  The game features some very tight controls that make it very easy to get to grips with.  So, if you die, it was your own fault pure and simple.  Time to lather, rinse and repeat in the old bath house.

Gunman Clive 2 then steps it up several notches on the gun belt.  You’re instantly catapulted into more frantic action, the scenery becomes multi-coloured, and the boss enemies look and behave even more refined, and I’m not just talking about the gentlemanly boss that makes an appearance!  The platforming aspect takes on more of a challenge, often forcing you into failure to go back repeatedly to learn the routines.  But these failures never seem frustrating or a chore to do so.

Neither game offers much in the way of story arc and even less in character development, but for me, I feel that would only detract from the core experience on offer here.  

Throughout both games there are homages to other classic franchises out there, namely Castlevania, and at one point I found myself laughing at a moment featuring Tetraminoes falling down on you to dodge which then create a network of panic inducing steps to get you up into the next area.

Developed by Bertil Hörberg, these charming, but very brief games offer plenty of fun for anyone to dip into, and with the price they are on the eShop, it feels like you’re committing daylight robbery when you buy it.

Still, even though I had that sage advice all those years ago, sometimes you’ve just got to put you’re boots on (spurs and all), shout “Yeeee-Haaaw!”and hang on in there for the wild ride.  

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