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Gameverse | September 27, 2020

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Gunman Clive Game Review

Gunman Clive is the main character in this basic narrative to save the Mayor’s daughter from a group of bandits. In his spare time, independent developer Bertil Hörberg created Gunman Clive available on IOS, Android, Steam, and Nintendo 3DS. This artistically interesting platformer game proves its worth within the first few minutes of playing. The developer was able to capture the laid-back cowboy look and feel very well in the basic animations, art style, and camera work. The cowboy theme is well-represented in this indie title.

According to the Steam website, “A group of bandits have kidnapped Mayor Johnsons daughter and are spreading havok across the land.” Gunman Clive is the main character in this basic narrative to save the Mayor’s daughter from a group of bandits. In his spare time, independent developer Bertil Hörberg created Gunman Clive available on IOS, Android, Steam, and Nintendo 3DS. This artistically interesting platformergame proves its worth within the first few minutes of playing. The color scheme mimics the desert realities of life in the American West in the 1800s. The developer was able to capture the laid-back cowboy look and feel very well in the basic animations, art style, and camera work. The cowboy theme is well-represented in this indie title.

The three basic mechanics in Gunman Clive are move, shoot, and jump. In the simplistic control scheme, the developer was still able to create a fun, unique platformer title. Gunman Clive was originally meant to be played on smartphones before being ported over to the Nintendo 3DS and eventually the PC.

The levels in Gunman Clive are interesting and make this game one worth playing. As the player progresses through the game, the environmental effects and abilities for the player become increasingly challenging. Trains, boss fights, and damsels in distress make Gunman Clive, a classic cowboy platformer anyone can enjoy. The gameplay and strategy elements are quite simple. Each AI unit moves/shoots according to a specific set pattern. It is important for the player to recognize the patterns in AI behavior in order to survive. In my experience, it was vitally important to observe AI movement and shooting patterns entirely before attempting to play through the level. The basic pattern AI system can seem dry or boring at first, but Gunman Clive is a worthwhile puzzle platformer that keeps the player interested.

Shortcomings worth mentioning

  1. The default keyboard control settings in this game are abstract and unnatural. During my first playtest, I decided to change the controls to something more manageable on the keyboard. In researching the release dates of the title, I realized the PC version was the last to hit the marketplace.
  2. The character can only shoot straight in two directions, left and right. The AI characters have the same functionality, but can shoot up and down as well. This gives the game a distant feeling and disconnect from the overall game play.
  3. The predictable nature of the AI behavior and storyline takes away from the immersive gameplay.

The storyline, though not original, gives the game a sense of direction and purpose. The main weak point of Gunman Clive is the storyline. The predictability of the story elements make it narratively uninteresting to a hardcore gamer or someone who emphasizes unpredictable original narrative. The developer more than makes up for this in the art style and gameplay mechanics/elements. For the causal puzzle platformer gamer, saddle up and enjoy the ride. Gunman Clive provides a fun challenge with a visually interesting art style that is sure to grab your attention.

Article by Luke Venchus. Game Design student at The University of Advancing Technology. Intern at Retora Games Studio and Indie Game Source.